In an official statement released this afternoon, Belichick praised Edelman for toughness and versatility.
He referred to the 12-year Patriots veteran as “the ultimate competitor” and called it “a privilege to coach him.”
“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all,” Belichick said. “Few players can match Julian’s achievements, period. But considering the professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select. It is historic. This is a tribute to his legendary competitiveness, mental and physical toughness and will to excel. Day in and day out, Julian was always the same: all out. Then, in the biggest games and moments, with championships at stake, he reached even greater heights and delivered some of his best, most thrilling performances. For all Julian did for our team, what I may appreciate the most is he was the quintessential throwback player. He could, and did, everything – catch, run, throw, block, return, cover and tackle – all with an edge and attitude that would not allow him to fail under any circumstance. Julian Edelman is the ultimate competitor and it was a privilege to coach him.”
Belichick is usually a man of very few words. But when it comes to his players, he’s as gregarious as they come.
Bill Belichick’s statement on “the ultimate competitor”, Julian Edelman. pic.twitter.com/8pdZybjEyj
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 12, 2021
In 12 seasons with the Patriots, Julian Edelman had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons, four 1,000-yard from scrimmage seasons and two seasons with 100 or more receptions.
Edelman never made the Pro Bowl but was a crucial component to the Patriots in the postseason. No postseason performance was bigger than Super Bowl LIII though.
Against the Los Angeles Rams, Edelman had 10 receptions for 140 yards in the 13-3 win. He was named Super Bowl MVP for his efforts, securing his third Super Bowl win in five years.
Julian Edelman has a permanent place in Patriots history and is a team legend. And Bill Belichick knows it.