An arbitrator denied Julian Edelman’s appeal Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. That means the Patriots receiver will serve a four-game suspension to start the season.
Edelman was found to have violated the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. His positive test reportedly was triggered by a substance that wasn’t immediately recognizable.
Edelman, who can participate in training camp and the preseason, will miss games against the Texans, Jaguars, Lions and Dolphins.
Most league executives expect a cool market for restricted free agents, which could lead to a few of them — including Smart — signing one-year qualifying offers and entering unrestricted free agency next summer. Dallas might have feared this when it withdrew Doug McDermott’s qualifying offer mere hours after tendering it.
Smart and Jusuf Nurkic look like the best candidates for this strategy. Nurkic turned down a rich, four-year extension in the fall, league sources say, and might struggle to find any team other than Portland willing to offer more than the midlevel. Portland could try to retain him long-term at a courtesy salary just above that — say, $11 million or $12 million per year — and dare Nurkic to do better.
We’re trying to get him to see what he does well, what his skill set is like, Bradley said. What I love about him, even though he might be burdened mentally, it doesn’t slow his game speed down. He still plays fast.
The Chargers would like to see James learn fast enough to be a starter in Week One.
Wyshynski: The real answer is the team that dabbles the least in unrestricted free agency because not good can come from it, but I’ll go ahead and predict that Ray Shero and the New Jersey Devils do well for themselves. They have over $24 million in cap space and only nine forwards under contract, so one assumes they’ll dabble for players like James van Riemsdyk and potentially re-sign deadline pickup Patrick Maroon. Of course, trades are always a possibility, and after Shero’s masterstroke waiting out the Capitals’ cap crisis to snag Marcus Johansson, expect more of the same.
Kaplan: Honestly, I believe the defending champion Washington Capitals already won it. Think about it: the point of free agency is to augment your team by taking calculated risks without overspending, while opting for known commodities when possible.