Losing Julian Edelman to a four-game suspension would be a massive blow for the New England Patriots.
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski may have finally arrived in Foxborough for mandatory minicamp, but things aren’t exactly going swimmingly for the New England Patriots.
Their top wide receiver and Brady’s favorite target by far, Julian Edelman, missed all of last season due to a torn ACL, and now he’s facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substances abuse policy, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It’s not completely hopeless for the Patriots and their fans, however, as Schefter clarified that the suspension is under appeal. But that’s certainly no reason for anybody to hold their breath.
This is pretty huge news for a Patriots team that was anxiously anticipating the return of their most reliable pass catcher, especially coming off of a brutal defeat in Super Bowl LII at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Edelman’s absence was very visible throughout the course of the 2017 season, but never more than it was during that game. Edelman was lost for the season after he suffered a torn ACL during the team’s third preseason game, just after signing a two-year, $11 million extension.
Prior to Edelman’s lost season in 2017, he had been a pivotal part of the Patriots offense for much of the decade. He was drafted in 2009, but didn’t really come into the spotlight until after Wes Welker departed for Denver in 2013.
Since then, Edelman has been Brady’s favorite receiver to throw to, and he was instrumental in the Patriots winning two Super Bowl in three years. With just over two minutes left in the game, he caught the go-ahead touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle. Two years later, Edelman made one of the most sensational catches in NFL history in Super Bowl LI against Atlanta – in which he basically dove to scoop the ball off the ground – to save New England’s season.
With the offseason losses of Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks, coupled with the fragility of Gronkowski, the Patriots’ offense could be in real trouble.