BOSTON (AP) — Citing a knee injury that cut his 2020 season short after just six games, receiver Julian Edelman says that he is retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons.

Earlier in the day, the Patriots terminated the contract of the Super Bowl 53 MVP after the receiver failed a physical. It brings an abrupt end to the 11-year New England tenure of the 34-year-old receiver, who was a favorite option of quarterback Tom Brady and whose fingertip catch helped complete the Patriots’ historic Super Bowl 51 comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons.

“Nothing in my career has ever come easy. And no surprise, this isn’t going to come easy either,” Edelman said fighting back tears in a video posted to Twitter. “I’ve always said I’m going to go until the wheels come off. And they finally have fallen off.”

Team owner Robert Kraft called Edelman “one of the great success stories in our franchise’s history.”

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He appeared in just six games last season before going on injured reserve following a surgical procedure on his knee. He also missed the entire 2017 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

A seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Kent State, Edelman retires ranked second in team history with 620 receptions, fourth in receiving yards 6,822 and ninth with 36 receiving touchdowns.

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