Per league sources, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is reportedly subject to a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Edelman’s presence in Foxboro has been a welcome sight for Patriots fans, this offseason. He has been a regular participant in the team’s offseason program, OTAs, and minicamp, after returning from an ACL tear during the 2017 preseason. That injury forced him to miss the entire 2017 season, including the playoffs and the Pats’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
Innocent until proven Guilty?
The suspension is currently under appeal. While winning appeals has proven to be difficult, it is not impossible. During the 2012 season, then-Seattle Seahawks Cornerback, Richard Sherman was successful in winning the appeal of his suspension for an alleged violation of the same policy. Sherman and his legal team successfully cast doubt on whether ‘significant errors were made in the chain of command’ surrounding his testing specimen. It should be noted that a source has advised that Edelman has taken “hundreds of tests” and has never tested positive before. This claim was reported by several news sources on Thursday, in connection with this story.
Should he be suspended for four games, Edelman would forfeit $470,588.20 in base salary. The Patriots first four games are against the Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins.
The current policy related to performance-enhancing substances is widely expected to be one of the discussion points at the next round of collective bargaining agreement talks, a source told ESPN on Thursday. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) runs through 2021.
Edelman turned 32 years old last month and is entering his 10th season in the NFL.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the NFL and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC