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Patriots terminate Julian Edelman’s contract after failed physical

The Patriots let longtime receiver and Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman go due to a chronic knee injury

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (11) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium.  Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have “terminated the contract of wide receiver Julian Edelman,” per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. It’s an end of an era, as Edelman played for 11 seasons with the Patriots dynasty, winning a Super Bowl MVP, three Super Bowl rings along with 620 receptions for 6,822 yards, and 36 touchdowns in 137 regular season games played.

Edelman was only able to play six games in 2020 due to knee pain and swelling. He had surgery to alleviate the injury, but the soon to be 35-year old receiver reportedly was going to have trouble playing a full season in 2021 due to his lingering knee issues.

His knee was a problem even before last season and the team likely wasn’t surprised by this, as they went heavy into free agency, signing four pass catchers in Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. And they probably will grab a receiver in the draft as well.

Edelman’s future is unknown. If he still wants to play, he’ll need to prove to a team that his knee is healthy enough. There will be plenty of talk about him joining his friend Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, but the odds that Edelman can make any team with his knee troubles could be long.