When Julian Edelman decided to retire on Monday, the most surprising part of his announcement might have actually come before his announcement, when the Patriots decided to cut him just hours before he officially retired. 

When the Patriots released Edelman, it wasn't yet clear that he was going to retire, and that immediately started some speculation that he might look to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. However, that speculation came to a quick end after Edelman announced on social media that he was going to hang up his cleats for good. 

If you're wondering why the Patriots cut Edelman just before his retirement, there's actually a good reason for it: It will allow him the opportunity to collect up to $2 million through the NFL's injury protection benefit.