Patriots

Julian Edelman’s father offered some insight into the wide receiver’s retirement decision

"Jules likes to practice, and that's where he gets confidence."

Julian Edelman retirement speculation
Julian Edelman warming up before a Patriots-49ers game in 2020. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL in April, but based on comments from his father, it was a decision several years in the making.

Frank Edelman was a recent guest on NBC Sports Boston Patriots reporter Tom E. Curran’s podcast, discussing a range of subjects. Included in the conversation was some background information about why Julian called time on his Patriots career.

“It was such a great ride,” Edelman said of his son’s 12-year career, “but once they start getting hurt and they’re playing hurt, Jules is a total practice guy. This is what we did. He’s an Edelman, and that’s kind of what we did when we were playing Pop Warner and high school: We worked hard at practice. Just full-on.

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“Once he couldn’t practice because of that knee — it just wasn’t going away,” Edelman added. “Jules likes to practice, and that’s where he gets confidence. So, once the practice became once a week or not at all [or only] on walkthroughs, we knew we were kind of getting into trouble.”

Edelman began missing practices in 2019 due to lingering injuries, an issue that only got worse in 2020. The veteran receiver played in just six games before a left knee injury forced an end to his season.

But after seeing his son go from a seventh-round draft pick to becoming a fixture in a Super Bowl-winning offense, Frank had no issues with Julian’s decision to walk away.

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“I was happy that it was over,” Frank admitted. “It was enough. He’s been hit a lot. He caught a lot of balls in the middle of the field.”

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