Patriots’ Julian Edelman Has Retired, But He Isn’t Going Anywhere

'I've literally been in the very beginning stages of social media in the locker room'

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The news surprised no one, necessarily. But it was the nostalgia that quickly set in following news that Julian Edelman was retiring from the NFL.

Just less than a week ago, the New England Patriots receiver was saying with conviction he planned to do everything he could to get back out on the field this season. By Monday, he made the announcement he was hanging up the cleats.

But listening back to the Clubhouse discussion Edelman hosted back on April 9 to promote the launch of his NFT collection, it’s hard to tell if he knew he was all done. It certainly didn’t seem so.

?I tore my ACL at 32 years old, I got suspended, I was out for the first four games. You know, those are very, very low times in my life,? Edelman said during the conversation.

“People have torn their ACL, I may be a little older. I mean, I?m not 22 anymore and I don?t feel the same, this, that. But I can do this. It?s been done. If it?s been done once, it can be done again because I?m gonna do everything in my heart to work myself to be able to do that.?

Ultimately that’s not how it will play out. But with a competitor like Edelman, you know it was not for lack of trying.

A seventh-round pick who wasn’t even invited to the NFL combine, head coach Bill Belichick told Edelman that he didn’t exactly know how the Patriots would use him, but that he could play football.

As he mentioned in the Clubhouse discussion, leadership from the top down helped continue to mold him into the maniacal worker who bought into everything that came along with being a Patriot and playing for New England.

And that mentality helped him build the brand that will help his transition into retirement. Starting, apparently, with digital artwork reminiscent of his favorite memories from his playing career.

“I’ve literally been in the very beginning stages of social media in the locker room,” Edelman said in the discussion. “When I first got into NFL locker room I would be the only one on Instagram, or I was the only one on Twitter and the older guys would look at me and they’d be like, ‘What are you on? Get off your phone.’ Nowadays, you go into a locker room, everyone is on their phone doing something. And that’s just the evolution of where we’re going with technology, and I think that gives football players an ability to build a brand, build a face build a personality, through their social media, through their NFTs, through content. And that’s kind of what we’ve done with my whole career.”

From children’s books to collectibles, merchandise to content creation, Julian Edelman isn’t going anywhere — even if his playing days are done.

But with all his diverse interests, we’re glad football won out.

“I’m just so blessed and fortunate that that I’ve got to chase down my passion,” Edelman said. “You know, I have obviously other passions, but my first passion was sport. And then I was able to chase that.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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