NFL sources announced on Thursday that Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has been issued a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Edelman was quick to appeal. This is the first-time Edelman has tested positive for league banned substances.
If suspended, Edelman faces a $470,588.20 deduction from his base salary. The Patriots start the 2018 NFL season with Houston, Jacksonville, Detroit, and Miami. Edelman’s participation in these games is currently undetermined.
Edelman is recovering from an ACL tear that took him out of the entire 2017 season. The injury occurred during a preseason game against the Lions on August 25th, 2017.
News of a possible Edelman suspension should worry coach Belichick and the TB 12 regime. The wide receiver position for the Patriots is not particularly an experienced bunch. After losing Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola, the Patriots wide receiver group is made up of Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Brit, Phillip Dorsett, Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson and draft pick Braxton Berrios. If Edelman’s suspension becomes final, Belichick will be forced to call upon this less experienced bunch for the first 4 games next season.
The last successful appeal came from Richard Sherman back in 2012 while he was with the Seattle Seahawks. Appeals are hard to win but occasionally end in a favorable outcome.
Edelman participates in the Patriots normal offseason workout program while organizing team minicamps and activities. Also, Edelman has previously worked closely with Alex Guerrero, Tom Brady’s trainer who is involved with the TB12 Sports Therapy Center located in Foxborough. After the news of Edelman’s suspension broke, Guerrero issued the following statement:
“I’ve known Julian since his rookie year and he is a phenomenal athlete who takes his training seriously — it’s disappointing to hear today’s news. Elite athletes sometimes work with multiple coaches and health professionals as part of their off-season training. Here at our facility, we take a natural, holistic, appropriate and, above all, legal approach to training and recovery for all of our clients. And anyone who would suggest otherwise is irresponsible and just plain wrong,”
Questions about what goes on within the TB12 Sports Therapy organization are starting to form.
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