Two weeks ago, the New England Patriots acquired former Cleveland Brown Josh Gordon via trade to increase the depth and talent of its wide receiver group. Today, straight off a 38-7 victory over the previously undefeated Miami Dolphins, the team is able to add another player at a position that has shown plenty of inconsistency through the first four weeks of the season (but that looked good yesterday): Julian Edelman.
Edelman was suspended for the first quarter of the regular season after violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. His ban officially ended at midnight today, which means that the 32-year old can now rejoin his teammates and work out at the Patriots’ facilities again. While the team can request a roster exemption until Thursday, it will ultimately have to make a move to create a roster spot for him.
The two likely scenarios are either seeing a player at a position of strength released or one getting placed on the injured reserve list. The most realistic candidates to get cut appear to be the team’s backup interior offensive linemen: Cole Croston, Brian Schwenke and Ted Karras could all get the axe to make room for Edelman. Meanwhile, injured players like Eric Rowe, Geneo Grissom or Keion Crossen could find their way onto the IR.
No matter what New England decides to do, the team will likely be better as a result of the transaction: Edelman, who has not played in a non-preseason game since Super Bowl 51, will add another dimension to the Patriots’ offensive attack as a player who can get open quickly and serve as Tom Brady’s go-to guy in high pressure situations – something the team has lacked the past four weeks.