No, or Bad, Josh Gordon News, but Drug Policy Passes Vote


The Josh Gordon news we have all been waiting for has not come tonight. Instead we do know that the NFLPA has approved the proposal sent to them by the NFL. Now it must go through a few more steps before it is all finalized. Here is what the NFLPA sent out regarding what they have approved:

"Important changes include:·       NEUTRAL ARBITRATION: An Independent Arbitrator will hear appeals for positive test violations of both Substances of Abuse and Performance Enhancing Drug Policies. The NFL and NFLPA will jointly select, approve and pay for retention of 3-5 arbitrators.·       AMENDING MARIJUANA POLICIES: The threshold for a positive test for marijuana will increase to 35 ng/ml from the previous limit of 15 ng/ml. There will be additional steps for players who test positive for the substance before suspension.·       RETROACTIVITY: Discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 League Year will have their discipline adjusted by certain aspects of the new policies.·       DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Players successfully rejected the league’s proposal to issue discipline upon arrest, prior to adjudication. A two-game suspension will be issued upon conviction or plea agreement for violations of law involving alcohol and driving.·       AMPHETAMINES: During the off-season, a first time positive test for amphetamines without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) will now be evaluated under the Substances of Abuse Policy. During the season, a positive test without a TUE will continue to be a violation of the Performance Enhancing Drug Policy.·       HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE TESTING:Testing for hGH will occur in the 2014 season. Players have the right to challenge any aspect of the science of the hGH isoforms test. The collection of blood specimens is prohibited on game days.·       DISCIPLINE FOR BREACHES OF CONFIDENTIALITY: The NFL and NFLPA will have the right to retain independent investigators to review cases where player confidentiality as related to the drug policies has been breached. Employees of the NFL/NFLPA/Clubs, players, certified contract advisors (agents) and policy administrators found to be in violation will face fines up to $500,000 and/or termination or other discipline."

Some very interesting wins for the NFLPA in this. Neutral arbitration is a way of getting Roger Goodell out of the process as much as possible. The marijuana changes are interesting in that the level isn’t up to most other governing body, nor does it eliminate the substance as prohibited like many readers have thought it should. The way they changed the amphetamine policy is very nuanced, which is rare for the league.

An important wording for Gordon is found in the retroactivity: “violations in the 2014 League Year.” That means, based on the language here in, Gordon should not get any adjustment to his suspension. His violation took place in the 2013 League Year under the old policy.

Yet no one has come out and stated that Gordon will remain suspended, in fact most have agreed that he will be suspended for 10 games, then possibly 2 more for his DUI. It seems like a version of a compromise. He is considered positive because the test took place in 2013 League Year but punished based on the new rules because his punishment took place in the 2014 League Year. Actually makes sense, and is more lenient then expected, while not totally agreeable to many, including most Browns fans.

Albert Breer, who has been all over this story, had this information:

"From the NFLPA, on suspended players: “The Board of Player Representatives gave the NFLPA authority to complete new policies with the League consistent with detailed term sheets the players reviewed. We hope to have final agreements, including effective date for players with adjusted discipline, very soon.”"

What do you make of the new policy and the possible 10 game suspension for Gordon?