During Julian Edelman's 12-year career in the NFL, there was no one he was closer with than Tom Brady, and after the receiver announced his retirement on Monday, the Buccaneers quarterback decided to celebrate his former teammate with an emotional message on social media.
Brady and Edelman were teammates for 11 years and a big reason New England won three Super Bowls during that period is because Edelman almost always came through in the clutch during the playoffs and that was the first thing Brady noted in his message.
"That was when you shined the most," Brady said of Edelman's play in the postseason. "On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, you always came through."
One of Edelman's biggest moments came in Super Bowl LIII, when he was named MVP after catching 10 passes for 151 yards in a 13-3 win over the Rams. Although that was a huge game, his most iconic playoff moment arguably came two years earlier when he made an improbable catch on a tipped pass during the fourth quarter of New England's 34-28 win over Atlanta.
That iconic catch was one of more than 100 that Edelman made during his playoff career. The retiring receiving will finish his career with the second-most playoff receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,442) in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice in both categories.
Of course, Edelman's postseason success wasn't the only thing Brady talked about in his lengthy tribute.
"I was a witness to so much of the journey and am so proud of you and how you grew from seventh round underdog to an older seventh round underdog," Brady wrote. "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."
Brady and Edelman definitely had a unique connection. During their 11 seasons together in Foxborough, Edelman caught 571 passes from Brady, which is the most completions that Brady has thrown to any one receiver.
Besides football, Brady talked about Edelman's off-the-field life in his message.
"Seeing you become a dad and the changes you made in your life made me so encouraged and happy for you," Brady wrote. "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!"
You can see Brady's entire message below.