Julian Edelman Announces Next Career Move Amid NFL Retirement

By Jason Hall

April 21, 2021

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman already has post-retirement plans.

The former Super Bowl MVP will join the 'Inside the NFL' team as an on-air analyst as part of an overall deal with ViacomCBS, Deadline.com announced on Wednesday (April 21.)

Edelman joins a star-studded 'Inside the NFL' team that already includes James Brown, Phil Simms and Brandon Marshall, as well as feature contributions from Pro Football Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis.

'Inside the NFL' will make its debut on Paramount+ this fall as part of the 2021 NFL regular season.

“I’ve always been a fan of Inside the NFL, and the different way they have shown football, from the cinematography to the slow highlights, and the all-star cast they’ve had,” Edelman said via Deadline. “It’ll just be fun to share what’s on my mind, but those guys have been in the TV world for over a decade. That’s a whole lot of nerves, like back when I got drafted in the seventh round by New England, and I was a quarterback from a small school who never played receiver. I have to make this team, and prove what I can do. That’s the mindset I have, nervous but excited.”

Edelman shared a video of himself on the field of Gillette Stadium announcing his decision on April 12 following reports that the Patriots released him from his contract after a failed physical.

"It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family," Edelman said. "And I'm honored and so proud to be retiring a Patriot. ... It's been the best 12 years of my life."

Edelman spent his entire 12-year NFL career with the Patriots and ranks second in franchise history for career receptions (620), fourth in receiving yards (6,822) and ninth in receiving touchdowns (36.)

The 34-year-old was part of three Super Bowl teams, including the Patriots' most recent championship, which saw Edelman earn MVP honors in Super Bowl LIII.

During an appearance on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast in January, Edelman said he's "not there yet" when asked about the recent retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers.

“He had a great career. He had an unbelievable career,” Edelman said. “But, I don’t know, we’re not there yet."

Edelman endured a frustrating 11th NFL season in 2020, which was limited to just six games due to a knee injury that led to "precautionary" surgery in October. The Patriots struggled in his absence, having already lost veteran quarterback Tom Brady to free agency, as well as several other key contributors, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“This whole year was so jacked up. It was so long, I just need to decompress for a little bit,” Edelman said via Pardon My Take. “I’m out in L.A. right now, taking my kid to school and picking her up, doing the kind of things you don’t get to do during the season, and I’m enjoying that right now.”

Edelman also provided an update on his recovery, saying he's "getting there" and has had plenty of time to reflect with an early offseason.

“It was a rough year when it came to just my physicality and how I felt,” Edelman said. “It’s tough, but this is the time where you sit and you self-reflect. You self-evaluate and you self-scout yourself through all last year. You’re really go in and try to develop a formula and try to develop a game plan for how you’re going to attack the offseason. That’s the process I’m in right now.”

The 34-year-old wide receiver was set to enter the final year of his contract with the Patriots next season, which carried a cap hit of more than $6.6 million.

Photo: Getty Images

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