The NFL will hear Julian Edelman’s appeal of his four-game suspension on Monday, ESPN reported Sunday night.
News broke June 7 that the New England Patriots wide receiver was to be punished for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances. Albert Breer of The MMQB subsequently reported that Edelman’s positive test was for an “unrecognizable substance.”
According to ESPN, Edelman’s appeal will focus on two fronts: the identity of the substance for which he is being suspended, and alleged mishandling of his drug sample during the testing process.
The day after word of Edelman’s suspension spread, the 32-year-old veteran apologized on Instagram for the positive test. He wrote, “I don’t know what happened” and that he has taken “many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened.”
CBS Boston pointed out that at least three NFL suspensions for PEDs have been overturned in recent years: Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in 2012, (improperly collected urine sample), New York Giants running back Andre Brown in 2012 (use of prescription Adderall) and Houston Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown in 2016 (tainted meat in Mexico).
Edelman sat out all of the 2017 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a preseason contest. He returned to the field during the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp in early June after previously attending voluntary organized team activities.
A four-game ban would cost Edelman approximately $471,000 of his $2 million base salary this year. He would miss games against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins before being eligible to rejoin the team on Oct. 1.
In nine NFL seasons, Edelman has 425 receptions for 4,540 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was part of Super Bowl-winning teams in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.
—Field Level Media