Rodney Harrison Releases Major Statement About Julian Edelman PED Suspension

Former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison understands the plight of Julian Edelman in the wake of his suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs well. After admitting that he had taken Human Growth Hormone, Harrison was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2007 season. As such, the two-time Super Bowl champion was able to speak to some of what Edelman is currently experiencing: Particularly the impact to his reputation.

Speaking with Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Harrison stated that Edelman should not worry about whether people will view him as a “cheater”, since such accusations have become part and parcel for members of the Patriots.

Ultimately, people are going to think what they want to think. If you’re a part of the Patriots, and something like this happens, people from the outside, they think you’re a cheater anyway,” Harrison told the Herald. “Ultimately, I’d tell him, ‘It doesn’t matter what other people think. You know what type of person you are. You just have to bounce back from this. You can’t allow it to affect you, you have to use your time wisely.’”

With that said, Harrison stated that he does not believe Edelman’s peers around the league will suddenly view him less favorably in the event that Edelman’s four-game suspension is upheld.

“People respect his game. People respect the way he approaches the game, his toughness, his mentality, everything he’s established over the years, so I don’t think guys (in the league) are going to lose respect for him,” said Harrison. “He’s tough as nails, the way he works, the way he prepares. He’s very meticulous. … He shouldn’t worry about what other people think, because the people that know him, the people that respect him, the people that love him will always be there to support him.”

Harrison can personally attest to Edelman’s circumstances from his own experience. As reported by ESPN at the time, Harrison admitted that he had begun using HGH in order to recover from injuries suffered during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, and was slapped with a four game suspension to begin the Patriots’ perfect regular season in 2007.

Edelman, who has gained a reputation for being a reliable, hard-nosed receiver, will most likely have to deal with the fallout from his suspension in the event that the NFL does not overturn it. As Ben Volin of The Boston Globe noted, Edelman will lose out on the chance for multiple individual awards for the 2018 season, such as a Pro Bowl nod, league MVP, and Comeback Player of the Year.