Why Patriots Released Julian Edelman Before Retirement Announcement

Edelman gets a nice retirement bonus


April 12, 2021

There was a method to Monday’s madness that saw the New England Patriots terminate Julian Edelman’s contract with a failed physical designation prior to the wide receiver’s retirement.

Edelman can earn $2 million because of the timing.

“Edelman now becomes eligible for injury protection benefit, per the CBA, available to all players in this situation,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday. “Edelman can collect up to $2 million through this benefit.”

Only $1.2 million of that $2 million will hit the Patriots’ salary cap. The other $800,000 is considered a player benefit.

Edelman couldn’t fully recover from a lingering knee injury that shortened his 2020 season to just six games. He retires with 620 career catches for 6,822 yards with 36 touchdowns and an additional 118 postseason receptions for 1,442 yards with five touchdowns.

Edelman is second in NFL history in postseason receptions and receiving yards behind Jerry Rice. He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and earned Super Bowl LIII MVP honors.

The former Kent State quarterback also contributed as a returner, ball-carrier, passer, special-teamer and defender with the Patriots after being selected in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

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