The NFL announced today that it has fined New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman $25,000 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The Patriots also have fined Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill $10,000 and Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart $5,000.
The NFL’s substance-abuse policy requires players to use “reasonable efforts to mitigate the risk of dependence” while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
It also says that players must report any evidence of a “problem.”
It doesn’t define “problem,” but the league says that “the presence of a substance or substance abuse issue may be an indicator of the player’s ability to play.”
Edelman’s violation was the most significant of the week for the league, which was fined $20,000 by the NFL for multiple violations of the policy in 2016 and 2017.
The NFL said it’s been investigating Edelman’s history of substance abuse and he has tested positive twice in the past year.
The league suspended him for two games in 2017 for violating his policy and fined him $7,000 last season for violating that policy.
The league also fined the Dolphins $7.5 million last season after they failed to report an alleged domestic violence incident involving Edelman that allegedly occurred in 2017.
Miami said in its statement that it would “exhaust all available avenues” to appeal that ruling.
The Dolphins suspended Edelman indefinitely last season following a domestic violence arrest and were fined $2.5 in 2018 for violating its substance abuse program.
The Miami Dolphins were fined another $2 million in 2019 for violating Edelman before he was suspended.
The Miami Dolphins have yet to announce their response to the league decision.
The team issued a statement saying it “remains focused on competing with the NFL and its substance-control program to address the needs of our players and the fans.”