Practice squad kicker Riley Patterson has been given the number formerly worn by the 35-year-old athlete, who retired from the NFL in April, according to a tweet by ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Edelman responded to the news on Wednesday with a clip of ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
"I'm a bit sad," Smith says in the clip. He pauses briefly before adding, "Actually, I'm lying. I'm quite devastated."
Edelman called it a career after 12 seasons in the NFL, all of which he spent with the Patriots. The former receiver won three Super Bowls with New England between 2015 and 2019 and became the first Jewish athlete in league history to be named most valuable player in a Super Bowl in 2019.
Last season, Edelman played in just six games due to a knee injury. His contract with the Patriots was terminated in April after he reportedly failed a physical.
"Nothing in my career has ever come easy, and no surprise: this isn't going to be easy, either," Edelman said in the video announcing his retirement. "Now, I've always said, I'm going to go until the wheels come off. And they've finally fallen off."
Playing for the Patriots, the Kent State alum added, made for "the best 12 years of my life."
"It's a helluva run," he continued. "I can't forget you, Patriot Nation. You guys have welcomed me and my family to a region we do not know, we didn't know. But now, I'm one of you. I'm a leave you guys with two words: Foxborough Forever."
Tom Brady, who played with Edelman in New England, previously honored his longtime friend in a heartfelt tribute to the receiver and his career.
Al Bello/Getty Julian Edelman and Tom Brady
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"[I] am so proud of you and how you grew from 7th round underdog to an older 7th round underdog," the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback joked in reference to the 2009 NFL Draft. "The truth is, you never really grew up 😂😂! You never lost that chip on your shoulder. You never let anyone define you as a person or player."
Brady also congratulated his friend for doing all he could to make each Patriots team the best they possibly could be.
"You had an amazing football journey, an amazing life journey in New England, and I have no doubt you will succeed in anything you choose to do next! LFG ❤️❤️❤️," he concluded. "P.S. the best Met Gala date crasher in the world! 🤣."