By Mark Paulette,
If anyone knows a thing or two about pulling off the near-impossible, it’s Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman, whose seemingly time-pausing catch in Super Bowl 51 helped the Patriots overcome a 28-3 deficit is once again up against what seem to be insurmountable odds.
With the time running down in the third quarter of the Super Bowl vs. Atlanta and the Patriots staring at a 25-point deficit, the Falcons had a 99.7% chance to win the game. Now, after being handed a 4-game suspension following a positive test for an ‘unknown substance’, Edelman is facing 4-in-339 odds (1.18%) that his suspension will be overturned. But hey, that’s more than 1-whole percentage point better of a chance than the Pats had, and look what happened there!
Since Roger Goodell was appointed as commissioner of the NFL in August 2006, he has handed out 339 suspensions in direct violation of the League’s substance abuse policy. Of those 339 cases, eight suspensions have been shortened and four have been overturned entirely.
So what you’re telling me is there’s a chance? Well, technically, yes. Jules has a 2.36% chance to get his suspension shortened at the very least, though there’s a 98.82% chance that it won’t be fully vacated.
And the odds in his favor have only gone down in recent years. Since the start of the 2017 season, 54 substance abuse suspensions have been doled out by Rodge and not one has been shortened. In fact, since the last successfully challenged and shortened suspension, by Bobbie Massie (OT, Cardinals, 3-games lessened to two) in 2015, there have been 163 suspensions for substance abuse and all 163 suspensions have been served in full.
But, as Kevin Garnett belted out in 2008 and the Pats themselves proved in 2016, anything is possible.
Here’s a look at the successfully vacated or shortened substance abuse suspensions under Goodell’s reign –
– Andre Brown, Free Agent running back, 4-game suspension in 2012 overturned.
– Stedman Bailey, Rams’ wide receiver, 4-game suspension in 2014 overturned.
– LaVon Brazill, Colts’ wide receiver, suspended for entire season reduced to 10 games in 2014.
– Orlando Scandrick, Cowboys’ cornerback, 4-game suspension in 2014 overturned.
– Josh Gordon, Browns’ wide receiver, suspended for entire season reduced to 10 games in 2014.
– Wes Welker, Broncos’ wide receiver, 4-game suspension in 2014 overturned.
– LeVeon Bell, Steelers’ running back, 3-game suspension reduced to two games in 2015.
– Bobbie Massie, Cardinals’ offensive tackle, 3-game suspension reduced to two games in 2015.
Mark Paulette is the executive producer of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine