What NFL players and experts are saying about Julian Edelman’s pending suspension

"The league has had egg on their face before and this does nothing to help that situation at all."

Julian Edelman walks off the practice field after the Patriots minicamp.

Julian Edelman appealed his suspension in front of an abitrator on Monday, reportedly arguing that his four-game ban should be vacated because of mistakes the NFL made in handling his test results. As the Patriots wide receiver awaits word on his status for next season, people from across the league’s landscape are chiming in on the situation.

The player in question maintains he doesn’t know what happened. His teammate, Rob Gronkowksi, said that it’s an “unfortunate” predicament, while former Patriot Rodney Harrison advised Edelman not to let the situation affect him. One commentator noted that Tom Brady’s favorite target had long been suspected of using performance enhancing substances, while another said the NFL “has had egg on their face before” and this won’t help.


As it stands, Edelman is eligible to participate in all of the Patriots training camp and preseason games, but won’t make his season debut until Oct. 4 against the Colts.

Here’s what people are saying about Edelman’s suspension:

Julian Edelman

I am very sorry — I don’t know what happened. I’ve taken many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened. I apologize to the Kraft family, my coaches, teammates, and fans. As this matter is being appealed, I can’t say anymore but no matter what, I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for Patriots fans around the world.

Chris Simms

Julian Edelman is one of the guys that is just through years of conversation here and there where guys have the [conversation], ‘Hey, you think he’s on something?’ Those kind of things. It happens a lot.

When you’re asked to be that guy that he was in that offense, so dependable, so many catches every game, so many routes, run blocking… They usually wear out. He was one of the few where I can say, ‘Damn, he looks like he’s faster in January 9th than he was September 9th.’ And that was always a little bit, I think, a red flag for a lot of people in football.

Mike Golic

No way I buy this. There is no conceivable way you can sell me on this one that they don’t know what it is, yet they suspended him for four games. I don’t get this one.

The league has had egg on their face before and this does nothing to help that situation at all.

Adam Schefter

These things are very confidential. All we know is that it’s in the appeal process right now. And again, Julian Edelman has taken, I’m told, hundreds of tests before and not tested positive. This particular time, he did test positive for some sort of substance.

Tedy Bruschi

From preseason to September, they’re still figuring out what kind of packages work, what kind of players work in each position, those type of things. It’s easier and more quickly to iron out those problems if you have [Tom] Brady at quarterback, Edelman in the slot, and [Rob] Gronkowski on the other side — while you’re mixing in these other pieces.

Now that Edelman is gone, someone that you’re not sure of as a player, or you don’t have that much tape on, or you haven’t made a conclusion on as a player is now in there. Not only are you trying to figure out that player, you’re trying to figure out what role, minus one major contributor, when they are still developing.

Alex Guerrero

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 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.

Rob Gronkowksi

It’s an unfortunate situation. But he’s a hard worker, and he’ll have to speak for himself.

Mistakes do happen. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, so I just got to learn from them. It’s just a situation that we hope for the best.

Bill Polian

Players are responsible solely and completely for everything they put in their body. There are no exceptions to that. Third, if there is a substance that they cannot recognize, that would be a red flag.

Chain of custody is a dicey argument. Everyone argues that. The only one I ever knew that won it is Richard Sherman in 2012.

It’s important to remember that the bedrock guideline of the policy is a player is responsible himself for everything he puts in his body. No excuses.

Rodney Harrison

If you’re a part of the Patriots, and something like this happens, people from the outside, they think you’re a cheater anyway. Ultimately, I’d tell him, ‘It doesn’t matter what other people think. You know what type of person you are. You just have to bounce back from this. You can’t allow it to affect you, you have to use your time wisely.

You can take a supplement from GNC and it can have an extra something in it. I don’t think he was taking straight PEDs. I think he made a mistake. You think he wants to lose the type of money he’s going to lose from the suspension? You think he wants to miss four games from his teammates after missing last year? No, he doesn’t. He feels terrible about it. But at the end of the day, he’s going to have to forgive himself and move on.