Future NFL Hall of Famer Julian Edelman has called it a day on his amazing pro football career, announcing his retirement from the sport on Mon. Apr, 12. He cited an injury from 2020 that he just didn’t feel his body could come back from. For 10 of Julian’s 11 years with the New England Patriots, he was one of quarterback Tom Brady‘s favorite passing targets, with the men winning three Super Bowls together. Even though Tom, 43, left the Pats to play for the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2020 — and won his seventh Super Bowl — he is recalling their amazing time playing in Foxboro together and the close friendship they forged off the field. Tom shared his feelings in a sweet Instagram post he wrote upon his pal’s retirement at age 34.
Tom shared a series of photos of the two both on and off the field, with the first showing him smiling in uniform next to normally clean cut Julian with a thick, coarse beard. The superstar then noted how his eight-year-old daughter Vivian came across her dad composing his tribute to Julian. Tom playfully began, “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. That was when you shined the most.” In their last Super Bowl win together in 2019, Julian was named the game’s MVP.
“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,” Tom joked about Julian, who was picked by the Patriots way down in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL draft.
“The truth is, you never really grew up!” Tom wrote with laughing emojis. “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,” Brady continued.
Julian became a first time father on November 30, 2016, when he welcomed daughter Lily with his ex-girlfriend Ella Rose. “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,” Tom continued. “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,” Tom concluded with his “Let’s F**king Go!” cheer and a bunch of red heart emojis.
But the G.O.A.T. quarterback couldn’t let the tribute end without a nod to one of the photos with Julian that he included in his slides. It was a selfie showing Tom and wife Gisele Bundchen attending the 2019 Met Gala with Julian photobombing the pair over their shoulders. The father of three added, “P.S. the best met gala date crasher in the world!” with another laughing so hard it was crying face emoji.
Foxboro Forever pic.twitter.com/x3SDDPJoTX
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) April 12, 2021
Julian revealed his decision to retire earlier in the day via a nearly four minute video shot on the field of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, which was his home for his entire NFL career. “I’ve always said I’m going to go until the wheels come off. And they’ve finally fallen off,” Julian explained while sitting in a chair at midfield. He said that due to an injury he suffered last year, he decided to retire from the sport. “It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family. And I’m honored and so proud to be retiring a Patriot,” Julian shared, as Pats fans everywhere likely looked for the nearest tissue.