NFL notebook: Patriots' Edelman apologizes
June 9, 2018


New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, reportedly facing a four-game suspension by the NFL, apologized via social media on Friday.

Edelman did not acknowledge violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances in the posting on his Instagram account.

"I am very sorry -- I don't know what happened," Edelman wrote. "I've taken many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened. I apologize to the Kraft family, my coaches, teammates and fans.

"As this matter is being appealed, I can't say any more, but no matter what, I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for Patriots fans around the world."

Edelman, who missed the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL in an exhibition game in August, is appealing the suspension.

If the punishment is upheld by the NFL, Edelmen will miss the Patriots' season opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 9, road games versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 16 and Detroit Lions on Sept. 23, as well as a home matchup with the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 30.

--Steve Young and Terrell Owens spent four seasons as teammates with the San Francisco 49ers in the late 1990s.

Young is hoping to make one connection with Owens, hoping to change the bombastic wide receiver's decision to boycott this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

A member of the 2005 Hall of Fame class, Young said he thinks Owens is making a huge mistake by declining his invitation to be enshrined on Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

"The damage to the relationship could be permanent. You don't want that," Young said on ESPN, per the San Jose Mercury News. "So I beg him to reconsider because the longevity of all the people that want to respect him and that he should respect as well. Forget about, 'I'm mad at the voters, I'm mad at the system.' The damage that could be done by not going could overwhelm him over a period of time."

Owens publicly declined his invitation to be part of the Class of 2018, releasing a statement on Thursday that he planned to "celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere."

--Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel threw a touchdown pass in his second CFL preseason game Saturday as a backup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Manziel, who is behind Jeremiah Masoli, came into the game against the Montreal Alouettes in the second quarter down 14-7. The Tiger-Cats eventually won 30-15.

Manziel, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 88 yards with the TD, also took a late hit in the game.

The Tiger-Cats open the regular season next Saturday at Calgary. Manziel is expected to play behind Masoli.

--Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been a no-show for all this offseason's voluntary organized team activities but is expected to attend next week's mandatory minicamp, according to ESPN.

Citing a source, ESPN reported that Pierre-Paul will be at the team's minicamp Tuesday through Thursday and he has been training on his own four hours per day.

The Buccaneers acquired Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants this offseason for a third-round draft pick and the two teams traded fourth-round selections. He is set to make $12.5 million this season.

--Free-agent safety T.J. Ward no longer faces chargers on marijuana possession.

The state of Florida on Thursday dropped all charges against Ward, according to joebucsfan.com, citing Hillsborough County clerk records.

Ward was arrested in early January and charged with a felony count of possession of marijuana, as well as a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ward, a two-time Pro Bowl selection during his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Broncos, has eight interceptions, 8.5 sacks and 590 tackles in 107 games.

--Miami Dolphins rookie tight end Mike Gesicki is struggling as he makes the transition from the college to professional game.

Gesicki, Miami's second-round pick (No. 42 overall) in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has "looked lost at times" during organized team activities, the Miami Herald reported.

The Dolphins have high hopes for Gesicki, who had 57 receptions for nine touchdowns -- both career highs -- during his senior season at Penn State.

Miami released starting tight end Julius Thomas in March, leaving veterans A.J. Derby and MarQueis Gray standing in the path of Gesicki, who has received most of his reps with the backups during workouts.

--Deshaun Watson continues to make progress from a knee injury that ended his rookie season with the Houston Texans.

The second-year quarterback has looked sharp during organized team activities and, according to the Houston Chronicle, the only noticeable sign that the knee was surgically repaired is the brace that he's wearing.

Watson provided an electrifying spark to the offense before he was injured. The Texans scored at least 33 points in each of his last five starts before he sustained the knee injury during practice on Nov. 2.

While Houston obviously wants to be careful with its emerging star, the question is whether the team will attempt to curtail Watson's running in order to protect the knee. Watson also suffered a torn ACL as a freshman at Clemson.

--The Los Angeles Rams signed all 11 of their 2018 draft picks, the team announced Friday.

The signings came one day after the final day of organized team activities and four days before the Rams conduct their mandatory minicamp starting next Tuesday.

Los Angeles did not have a selection in either of the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, using them in separate trades the past two seasons to acquire wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Sammy Watson.

The two highest picks were spent to bolster the offensive line. Tackle Joseph Noteboom was selected in the third round and center Brian Allen was the first of the team's fourth-round picks.

--Former NFL offensive lineman Kenyatta Jones died of cardiac arrest, the Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday. He was 39.

Jones played 21 games for the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2001.

Jones, who was 6 feet 3 and 307 pounds while playing in the NFL, was the first player drafted out of South Florida.

"Just a fun-loving guy, man, like a gentle giant," former South Florida teammate Keith Williams told the Tampa Bay Times. "But on that field, he took care of business."