Julian Edelman was Tom Brady‘s favorite receiver, with the most targets (1,036) and most catches (689) of anyone who has caught passes from the quarterback. Edelman had 7,674 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns on passes from Brady in the regular season and postseason combined.
Who would have guessed that Edelman (34) would retire before Brady (43)?
Edelman announced his retirement Monday, earning a public good-bye from Brady on Instagram.
“As I was writing this note, Vivi saw the first picture and said “daddy, tell Julian to cut his beard, I don’t like it”…which of course Jules, she never did like it….but you know who did…Me!! Because it meant you were locked in and it was playoff time,” Brady wrote. “That was when you shined the most. On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, you always came through. I was a witness to so much of the journey and am so proud of you and how you grew from 7th round underdog to an older 7th round underdog. The truth is, you never really grew up! You never lost that chip on your shoulder. You never let anyone define you as a person or player. You have so many teammates that admired your work ethic and will to win, and I am at the top of the list because when I was down and feeling sorry for myself at times, you were right there to pick me up. You were as tough as could be and I love you for all that you did to make our teams as great as they could possibly be.
“Seeing you become a dad and the changes you made in your life made me so encouraged and happy for you. Life is about gratitude and perspective! I am so happy for you and your family. You had an amazing football journey, an amazing life journey in New England, and I have no doubt you will succeed in anything you choose to do next! LFG
“P.S. the best met gala date crasher in the world!”
Edelman retires as a three-time Super Bowl champion and the MVP of Super Bowl LIII. He also made a game-saving, diving catch in the Patriots’ comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI and caught the game-winning touchdown when New England defeated Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX.
In 19 postseason games, Edelman made 118 receptions for 1,442 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 81 yards and a touchdown.