Tom Brady broke the news on Instagram to former teammate Julian Edelman upon the wide receiver’s retirement announcement on Monday. Brady’s daughter doesn’t like Edelman’s beard, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback does.
“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,” Brady wrote. “Me!! Because it meant you were locked in and it was playoff time. That was when you shined the most.”
Brady honored his former New England Patriots teammate with the post. The two won three Super Bowls together before Brady left for Tampa in 2020. Edelman finished his career in New England but only played in six games last season due to an ongoing knee injury.
“On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, you always came through,” Brady wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Edelman emerged from a last-round draft pick to one of Brady’s favorite targets from 2009 to 2019. Edelman amassed 6,822 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns in his career.
“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,” Brady wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Edelman announced his retirement in a video on Twitter, which went viral. He sat in a director’s chair on the field at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, with audio highlights of his career replaying in the background. Brady retweeted it and gave a shout-out to his former receiver.
“You never lost that chip on your shoulder, and you never let anyone define you as a person or a player. I’m proud of you Jules. Love you,” Brady wrote.
“I’ve always said, I’m going to go until the wheels come off, and they finally have fallen off,” Edelman said in the video. “Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football. It was a hard decision but the right decision for me and my family.”
Media speculated last month that Edelman may join Brady in Tampa if the Patriots would release him due to his contract’s salary cap hit of $6.1 million. The Patriots terminated his contract on Monday due to a “failed physical” according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Edelman went on injured reserve in October 2020 amid a “nagging knee injury” per Reiss.
Edelman to Tampa or April Fools?
Speculation of Edelman heading to Tampa instantly emerged after news of the Patriots release broke on Monday.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports had some fun with it, writing “next Boston to Tampa flight leaves in like 26 minutes” shortly after NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke the news.
Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud noted that the Bucs most likely wouldn’t sign Edelman “despite his long friendship with QB Tom Brady.” Reiss reported that Edelman “has been mulling retirement” and the Patriots’ release “could just be a precursor to that announcement.”
Edelman already had some fun regarding going to Tampa earlier in the month anyway. He posted a Pirates of the Caribbean GIF with the quote “it’s a pirate’s life for me, savvy” before adding an April Fools GIF to the thread later that day.