New England’s Julian Edelman holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl 53. Edelman was named the Most Valuable Player. Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Julian Edelman announced his retirement on Monday, ending a spectacular career with the Patriots. A seventh-round pick in 2009, Edelman turned into one of the most versatile players in NFL history.

He came to the Patriots as a college quarterback from Kent State. He developed into a No. 1 receiver who returned kicks, punts, threw touchdown passes and even played cornerback. There wasn’t much that Edelman couldn’t do on the football field.

He retires with three Super Bowl rings, a Super Bowl MVP and enough highlights to create a feature film. Edelman will always be known for his toughness, clutch moments and ability to hurt another team in so many different ways.

Here are the top five moments in Edelman’s NFL career:

Julian Edelman eyes the ball before making the catch that will haunt fans of the Atlanta Falcons as Robert Alford, left, and Keanu Neal defend during New England’s epic comeback to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl 51. Patrick Semansky

Super Bowl LI: Feb. 5, 2017

Edelman’s career ended with him being one of the most accomplished postseason receivers in NFL history. On this day, Edelman made perhaps the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. After trailing 28-3 in the third quarter, the Patriots made the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. That wouldn’t have been possible without Edelman’s efforts. Down by eight, with 2:28 remaining, Tom Brady’s pass attempt was deflected by Atlanta cornerback Robert Alford. After hitting the ball with his hand, the football also bounced off Alford’s shoe. That’s when Edelman somehow managed to barely get his hands under the ball with it inches above the turf for a 23-yard gain. Four plays later, James White scored a touchdown, Danny Amendola added a two-point conversation to tie the game and the Super Bowl went to overtime where Edelman went on to earn his second ring.

AFC Divisional Round: Jan.10, 2014

The Patriots had their hands full with the Baltimore Ravens during the 2014 AFC Divisional game. They trailed 21-14 at halftime and were down 28-21 late in the third quarter. That’s when Edelman reminded everyone he used to play quarterback in college. At 4:20 of the third quarter, Tom Brady hit Edelman with a backwards pass. Edelman then threw the ball 51 yards downfield to Danny Amendola for the game-tying touchdown. This marked Edelman’s first NFL touchdown pass. The Patriots went on to beat the Ravens and later the Seattle Seahawks for Edelman’s first ring. Edelman ended up completing six regular-season passes for 128 yards and a touchdown (throw in 2019), but his first – in the playoffs – was one of the best highlights of his storied career.

Super Bowl XLIX: Feb.1, 2015

Edelman played a major role in the Patriots Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. Down 24-14, in the fourth quarter, the Patriots were faced with a third-and-14 at the New England 28-yard line. On this play, Brady stepped up in the pocket and threw a strike to Edelman, who was streaking over the middle of the field. As soon as he caught the ball, Edelman was walloped by the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Kam Chancellor. Not only did Edelman hang on to the ball, but he gained yards after the catch. That brought the Pats to midfield and Brady finished off the drive with a touchdown pass to Amendola. Edelman ended up catching the game-winning score with 2:02 left before Malcolm Butler saved the day. That one play displayed Edelman’s toughness.

Miami vs. Patriots: Jan. 2, 2011

Before he was the Patriots No. 1 receiver and Super Bowl hero, Edelman was a standout punt returner. His first punt return for a touchdown displayed Edelman’s elusiveness and his abilities. During the Patriots Week 17 regular-season finale, returned his first punt for a touchdown. Edelman was backed up around the 6-yard line by Miami punter Brandon Fields and he immediately broke one tackle, cut right and evaded two more Miami defenders. Before you know it, Edelman had the entire Dolphins special teams unit chasing him. It wasn’t long before he blew by Fields, traveling the last 55 yards untouched. That 94-yard return was the longest in Edelman’s career and the longest in Patriots history. He finishes with four punt returns for touchdowns, which broke Troy Brown’s Patriots franchise record.

Julian Edelman, left, embraces Patriots team owner Robert Kraft after defeating the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3. The Patriots won 13-3 and Edelman was named MVP. David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Super Bowl LIII: Feb. 3, 2019

Many thought Super Bowl LIII between the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams would be an offensive showcase with Rams Coach Sean McVay on one side and Brady on the other. Instead, offensive output was hard to find. That was the case for almost everyone on the field except Edelman. On this day, Edelman led all players with 10 receptions, on 12 targets, to go with 141 receiving yards en route to earning Super Bowl MVP honors. Brady threw just 262 yards in this Super Bowl with close to 54% of his production going to Edelman, who gave Pro Bowl cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib fits for four quarters. Super Bowl LIII was the lowest-scoring affair in Super Bowl history as Sony Michel’s touchdown was the only score in the game. Without Edelman, the Patriots wouldn’t have a sixth ring. He became the first wide receiver to win Super Bowl MVP since Santonio Holmes in 2008.

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