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Patriots terminate Julian Edelman’s contract

Patriots, Julian Edelman

The New England Patriots are cutting ties with longtime wide receiver Julian Edelman, who might be bound for retirement.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported Edelman had been listed as a “failed physical” on the transaction wire.

But the termination could have something to do with Edelman’s playing status. Mike Reiss of ESPN reported the move could be a “precursor” to an eventual retirement announcement.

If this is indeed the end for Edelman, what a run it was in New England.

The former Kent State product was a seventh-round pick with the Pats back in 2009. Edelman had a hard time getting his career off the ground, in part because Wes Welker was playing the role of diminutive slot receivers. But he would soon assert himself as a legitimate target.

Edelman burst onto the scene in 2013 after Welker signed with the Denver Broncos that spring. He racked up 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and still maintained a certain level of excellence as a return man. Edelman would have two more 1,000-yard seasons in New England, but his most notable contributions came in the playoffs.

The gritty receiver was one of New England’s top weapons come January and especially in February. Edelman saw action in three Patriots Super Bowls, amassing 24 receptions for 337 yards and a score in those victories while also making one of the most improbable and critical receptions in NFL history during New England’s stunning comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51.

Injuries limited Edelman to just six games this season. It would make for a bit of a frustrating conclusion to an improbable career.

That said, Patriots fans are sure to remember for his grit, toughness, and clutch performances throughout his tenure.