On Monday, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman called it a career at the age of 34.
Fittingly, his former quarterback and three-time Super Bowl-winning teammate Tom Brady had a message to share with his old friend in reaction to the news.
"On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, you always came through," Brady wrote on Twitter. "You never lost that chip on your shoulder and you never let anyone define you as a person or player. I’m proud of you Jules. Love you"
Brady continued his message on Instagram.
"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," said Brady. "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!"
Spending 11 seasons together with the Patriots, Brady was primarily on the throwing end of Edelman's oft-argued, potential Hall of Fame career. Brady played in all but four games with the Patriots throughout their time together on the team, and as a part of the postseason magic that often filled the Foxborough air across those 11 years and Brady's previous time with the Patriots, Edelman ranks second in league history in playoff receptions with 118.
A former college quarterback-turned-wide receiver after being selected in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Edelman finishes his career with 620 receptions for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. He added 413 rushing yards and four punt return touchdowns, and claims 1,442 receiving yards in the playoffs.
Following Edelman's release from the Patriots with a failed physical designation, the rumor mill naturally began to spin at the idea of Edelman and Brady playing together again in Tampa Bay. A chronic knee injury led Edelman to retirement instead, and if there is one thing that's for sure: Brady is happy with the decision that his old friend made.