Patriots: Julian Edelman correctly chose retirement over signing with Bucs

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 25: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 25: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots were staring this unfortunate reality dead in the face for some time, and the latest news regarding star wide receiver Julian Edelman apparently has signaled the end of his NFL career.

Edelman had played in just 34 of a potential 64 games during the last four seasons, as various injuries either kept him sidelined or stunted his effectiveness when he was on the field.

Edelman, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, has apparently called it a career.

His contract with New England was terminated due to a failed physical, though Adam Schefter and ESPN’s Mike Reiss postulated that Edelman will make his retirement official as a result of this unfortunate result.

Rather than link back up with Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Edelman appears destined to hang up his cleats.

For his health and his legacy, this is the right move. 

New England Patriots star Julian Edelman would be wise to retire.

If Edelman has played his last snap, what a career it was. A college quarterback who converted to wide receiver after being picked in the seventh round, Edelman recorded 620 catches, 6,866 yards, and 36 touchdowns in his NFL career. His postseason numbers are in a tier that only Jerry Rice has reached before him, and he added three championships to those numbers. 

If Edelman took the Rob Gronkowski route and signed with Tampa, not only would he be a much less healthy and productive player than Gronk, but he would be buried on a very deep Tampa Bay depth chart. Edelman’s career ending somewhere that isn’t New England not only would just look wrong, but it would be even harder to watch.

We started to see that his play took a serious downturn last season due to his injuries. With the loaded skill position talent on the Bucs and the continued erosion of his body, Edelman wouldn’t see time unless, at a minimum, the team went four-wide. Knowing when to hang it up is a very important lesson for football players, and Edelman appears to hear the bell tolling on his playing days.

Edelman’s legacy as one of the best slot receivers and clutch postseason performers is solidified, and his postseason stats will echo throughout NFL history. This might be a sad way for Edelman to go out, but wouldn’t it be equally as hard to watch if Edelman, a shell of his former self, was stuck on the bench in Tampa Bay? Or struggling to make it through training camp/another season?

Pats Nation will forever be grateful for Edelman’s dedication, and it’ll be even more grateful if he doesn’t bolt to join Brady and try to prolong a career that should come to a close for health reasons, and health reasons alone.