The New England Patriots cut Julian Edelman just hours before he officially announced his retirement.

Cutting Edelman will allow the wide receiver to collect up to $2 million through the NFL's injury protection benefit.

If a player gets injured in one season and is physically unable to play the following season and then has his contract terminated before the following season starts, then the player is entitled to 100 percent of his base salary -- up to $2 million -- for the following year.

In Edelman's case, he got injured in 2020 and got cut with one year left on his deal with the presumption that he likely wasn't going to be able to play in 2021 due to his injury.

He was set to make $2.8 million in base salary.