The New England Patriots held a special halftime ceremony for retired wide receiver Julian Edelman on Sunday.
To begin the celebration, Edelman sprinted out of the tunnel and fired up the Gillette Stadium crowd with his patented fist-pump celebration.
The three-time Super Bowl champion teared up as Patriots owner Robert Kraft honored him with a heartfelt speech.
“On October 25th last year, when the Patriots hosted the 49ers, Julian played his final game in an empty Gillette Stadium,” Kraft said. "Six months later, on April 12th, Julian returned to this field to announce his retirement. Once again, unfortunately, Gillette was empty. There’s no way for a Patriots legend to end his career like that. Today, in front of a capacity crowd, we give our fans the opportunity to show their appreciation one more time.”
Edelman addressed Patriots fans with an impassioned speech of his own.
“You guys have taken me and my family, and you brought us into your homes, and you welcomed us," he said. "We love you guys. Foxboro forever."
Edelman ranks second in Patriots history with 620 career catches and fourth in receiving yards with 6,822. His 118 playoff receptions trail only the legendary Jerry Rice (151) for the most in NFL history.