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Former Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman has announced his retirement from the sport.
The 34-year-old New England Patriots wide-receiver said he made the decision due to an injury which sidelined him for much of last season.
Edelman won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and was named the most valuable player at Super Bowl LIII, when the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in February 2019.
In a video posted on Twitter, he said: “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.
“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.”
New England picked Edelman with the 234th selection of the 2009 NFL draft.
He went on to make 137 regular season appearances for the Patriots, while only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has made more play-off receptions in NFL history.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said: “Few players can match Julian’s achievements, period, but considering his professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select. It is historic.
“In the biggest games and moments, with championships at stake, he reached even greater heights and delivered some of his best, most thrilling performances.”