Julian Edelman left little wiggle room about his decision to retire.
The former New England Patriots receiver directly cited his failing body as the reason he called it quits during his April retirement announcement.
"Due to an injury last year, I'll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football," Edelman said on April 12.
But some aren't convinced. When news of his retirement leaked in the moments leading up to his announcement, speculation swirled that he was following Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowksi to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady jab rekindles rumor
Despite his proclamation that his body can't handle tackle football any more, rumors have lingered that he still plans to joins his former Pats passing-game compatriots in Florida. They've been egged on by none other than Brady himself, who recently joked that Edelman would join him in Tampa Bay.
"We know Julian didn’t retire," Brady said on the NFL's Draft-A-Thon livestream on April 29. "Let’s be honest. He’s just too scared to tell Bill [Belichick] he wants to come to Tampa. I’ve been there."
Brady directed his comments directly at Edelman, who was in the jovial chatroom alongside comedian Kevin Hart, actor/Patriots fan Mark Wahlberg and others. When Edelman didn't immediately refute Brady's claim, he breathed new life into the Bucs rumors.
Edelman: "I'm a 1-team guy"
Edelman on Thursday did his best to shoot them down once more. In a conversation with NFL Network's Michael Irvin, he made clear that he does not plan to join the Bucs.
"I'm a one-team guy," the 11-season Patriots veteran told Irvin.
He again cited the knee injury that cost him 10 games last season as preventing him from playing football.
"My knee's breaking down," Edelman continued. "I'm not gonna sit here, you know, I got everything I wanted. I got three rings, played in a magical dynasty, with an unbelievable franchise coach, best quarterback of all time, like, yo, I'm not a greedy guy.
"I played to win, I played to compete, I don't need anything else to prove. I'm good with what I did, I left it all out on the field."
This isn't even the first time Edelman's addressed Brady's chatroom comments. He appeared on the Pat McAfee show on May 13 and told him he didn't want to compete if his ailing body wasn't able to match the level of work he put in.
"I don’t feel like doing that," Edelman told McAfee. "... I’m out. I can’t do it."
So there. That should finally put the Edelman-to-Bucs rumors to bed.
Who are we kidding?