The experienced wide receiver, 34, has called time on his illustrious career after being released by the Patriots in the aftermath of a persistent knee injury.
A favourite target of former quarterback Tom Brady, Edelman played 12 seasons and 137 regular season games in New England, winning three titles and becoming the first receiver for a decade to win Super Bowl MVP after posting 10 catches for 141 yards as Bill Belichick’s side beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in 2019.
"Nothing in my career has ever come easy, and no surprise this isn't going to be easy either. I've always said I'll go until the wheels come off - and they've finally fallen off,” said Edelman, a seventh-round pick by the Patriots out of Kent State in the 2009 NFL Draft.
"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 and I'm honoured and so proud to be retiring as a Patriot."
Paying tribute to Edelman, Belichick said: "By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all. Few players can match Julian's achievements, period, but considering his 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, do 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."