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Deirdre Dagata

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GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 and Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“You have so many teammates that admired your work ethic and will to win, and I am at the top of the list because when I was down and feeling sorry for myself at times, you were right there to pick me up.” – Tom Brady

Tom Brady posted this heartfelt message and pics on Instagram about Julian Edelman’s retirement:

“As I was writing this note, Vivi saw the first picture and said ‘daddy, tell Julian to cut his beard, I don’t like it’…which of course Jules, she never did like it….but you know who did…Me!! Because it meant you were locked in and it was playoff time.

That was when you shined the most. On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, you always came through. I was a witness to so much of the journey and am so proud of you and how you grew from 7th round underdog to an older 7th round underdog. 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.

You have so many teammates that admired your work ethic and will to win, and I am at the top of the list because when I was down and feeling sorry for myself at times, you were right there to pick me up. You were as tough as could be and I love you for all that you did to make our teams as great as they could possibly be.

Seeing you become a dad and the changes you made in your life made me so encouraged and happy for you. Life is about gratitude and perspective! I am so happy for you and your family. 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

P.S. the best met gala date crasher in the world!”

Julian Edelman made his retirement official on social media in this video with the caption: “Foxboro Forever.”

Thank you Julian Edelman for all of the great years as a New England Patriot.  It was a joy to watch you play and cheer for you!  You will be missed.