CHICAGO -- Bears defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has been suspended without pay for the first two games of the 2021 regular season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Friday.
Edwards Jr. is no longer under contract with the Bears and will be a free agent in March. He will have to serve the suspension whenever he signs with a team but will be eligible to participate in preseason games and practices.
Edwards Jr. had a career-high four sacks while a member of the Bears in 2020.
The NFL is also investigating a legal issue involving Edwards Jr. that stemmed from an incident last year at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Edwards Jr., 26, was issued a criminal summons on a charge of misdemeanor assault on a female, according to a spokesperson for the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office in North Carolina in December.
A court date has not yet been set, but the summons arose from a situation at the Hilton Charlotte City Center hotel on Oct. 17, the night before the Bears played the Carolina Panthers.
Police documents said officers responded to reports of a woman hitting a man with her hand and scratching his forehead. Edwards and a woman both had bruises and scratches and both were listed as victims in the police report.
North Carolina court documents, obtained by TMZ, said the woman in question accused Edwards of hitting her in the eye and dragging her out of his hotel room after she began recording him during an argument. The woman stated that she was pregnant at the time of the attack and required hospitalization.
Peter Schaffer, Edwards' agent, denied that his client was involved in any wrongdoing.