New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman won't pursue further legal action and will accept his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, according to a report Friday from NFL.com.
Edelman had considered suing the league following a recent decision by an arbitrator to uphold the suspension on appeal. His appeal had been focused on the league's lack of recognition on what drug caused the positive test, and, according to ESPN, there was also an alleged chain of custody issue.
The 32-year-old Edelman will miss the Patriots' season opener against the Houston Texans (Sept. 9), road games vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars (Sept. 16) and Detroit Lions (Sept. 23), as well as a home tilt against the Miami Dolphins (Sept. 30).
Edelman missed the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL in an exhibition contest in August.
Edelman has been a favorite target of quarterback Tom Brady when healthy over the last several seasons. He caught 98 passes for a career-high 1,106 yards in 2016.
A converted college quarterback who was a seventh-round draft pick of New England in 2009, Edelman has recorded 425 receptions for 4,540 yards and 24 touchdowns in 103 career games.
Brady's receiver group has plenty of questions.
Last year's leading receivers Brandin Cooks (65 catches) and Danny Amendola (61) are now in Lops Angeles and Miami, respectively. New England added Jordan Matthews and Cordarrelle Patterson this offseason and selected Braxton Berrios in the sixth round of the 2018 draft to join a depth chart that includes Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt.
Hogan should be the No. 1 returning option, but he missed seven games over the second half of last season with a shoulder injury and didn't have a great spring. Matthews brings more size than a traditional Patriots slot option and is a proven NFL producer when healthy, but he will need to build a rapport with Brady.
Mitchell missed all of last season with a knee injury after showing promise as a productive rookie in 2016. The former fourth-round pick just can't be counted on to stay on the field -- practice or game -- given his health history. Britt and Dorsett were both in the mix last fall, but will need to make major strides to earn regular roles, something Patterson has never really been able to do in his career in either Minnesota or Oakland.