Josh Gordon Rules? NFL Discussing Changes to Drug Policy


Fresh off of the Josh Gordon suspension, and what seems like 20 other suspensions this off-season, the NFL looks like it is ready to make some changes to their drug program. While these changes won’t help Gordon’s case directly, the changes won’t take place until next off-season and likely won’t be grandfathered in, they are interesting. Albert Breer shares some of the changes that are possible:

Obviously a higher threshold would mean Gordon would not be suspended, if the reports of his levels are correct. It is a sign that the NFL sees how ridiculously low their threshold is compared to other sports or other work environments. Individual employers have the right to make rules and regulations, in the NFL’s case they are collectively bargained, and it is unlikely that marijuana testing would be removed from the policy on this round. Removing amphetamines is also interesting given the connection to the Browns and star corner Joe Haden. Haden was suspended for 4 games for amphetamines because they currently fall under the performance enhancing drug policy and not the recreational drug policy. With PEDs they are currently 1 positive test and you are suspended instead of the more gradual process used for recreational substances. How they would judge a second PED positive test, if Haden ever tested again (which we assume will never, ever happen) would be interesting. A 2nd PED violation versus a 1st is significantly different. Breer went on to discuss more of what his sources are telling him about the changes:

Such an interesting statement from Goodell, another piece of ammo should Gordon ever choose to take his case to court. The league’s commissioner seems to be stating that the league’s current policies need to be changed but hasn’t started the process to change them. Should that have created any form of leniency towards Gordon and others? Wes Welker being suspended for PEDs for a reported amphetamine test would be another player who could have an argument.

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Josh Gordon is getting yet another chance, this time with the XFL
Josh Gordon is getting yet another chance, this time with the XFL /

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  • So obviously there are plenty of things that could get in the way of the new drug policy. It seems like the fact that the NFL wants to make these changes and that both changes seem to benefit players that the NFLPA would easily pass them. That means the NFL could be looking for something in return, specifically blood testing for things such as HGH. The NFLPA has been highly wary of any type of blood testing and wary of any urine tests that reportedly can test for HGH. The NFL would likely have a lot to give in order to get HGH testing.

    As for the new rules for marijuana, they will likely be attached to Gordon. They will become the Josh Gordon Rules much the same way the new domestic violence rules are the Ray Rice Rules. Not something you want your name attached to, especially for Gordon where the new rules would benefit him.

    We are still expecting some type of lawyers to be involved and are surprised nothing has happened yet. More and more it seems like Gordon might have a case, but others know far better than us. Either way the new possible rules are very interesting related to Gordon’s troubles.