NFL owners are doing anything they can to get the players to agree to this 17th game. I don’t know, call it greed at work or fulfilling a growing appetite for NFL football in this country.
It’s weird that with all of the CTE talk and mental health initiatives and the decreasing number of kids playing football, the NFL owners would be trying to extend the NFL schedule, just to grab up a few more fan, TV and advertising dollars.
BREAKING: Giants safety Tyler Sash had CTE when he died at 27. 89th former NFL player diagnosed by VA-BU-CLF doctors https://t.co/Dm90IYF8bB
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) January 27, 2016
Most players were against it at first. It’s illogical really when you consider that player safety has been the NFL’s first priority (so it says) for some time. The money the owners tend to gain from one extra game must really be significant for them to have the audacity to even ask the DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA to agree to another game in the first place.
It wasn’t even a thought as of a year ago and now it’s about to really happen.
The veterans are still against it as it goes to a player’s vote. Tyler Lockett has reportedly joined the line of accomplished, veteran players voting no. He joins Russell Wilson. Bobby Wagner. Richard Sherman. Quandre Diggs. Todd Gurley. Patrick Peterson. Kenyon Drake. All have stated or endorsed their opposition to the new collective bargaining agreement NFL owners are proposing.
And that’s just NFC West players.
On the flip side, the feeling is that the league’s minimum-salary players and the majority of the NFL, appear to be in favor of ratifying the new labor deal. It would be in effect through 2030.
Eliminate Drug Suspensions
We might have, however, found the tipping point. If the proposed NFL collective bargaining agreement is approved by players, it will include a dramatic shift in the league’s drug-testing policy. NFL players won’t get suspended for failed drug tests under the new CBA proposal but this new drug policy does not extend to PED’s.
Players will still be tested for substances of abuse. But they won’t be suspended. Not for the first positive test. Not for the fourth. This includes every substance of abuse the league tests for, from opioids to marijuana.
NFL: We are longer suspending players for marijuana usage.
— LeadingNFL (@LeadingNFL) March 5, 2020
I can see my man Rasta Ben saying, “Good, Good for dem yutes dem.”
But wait a minute Buju Banton…
The Set-Up: Puff, Puff, Pay
So the NFL is removing suspensions for marijuana, but keeping fines?
That's not a win for players, it's status quo.
Playing for free is the same, if not worse, than being suspended.
My two cents: https://t.co/Xwa3asTYHQ
— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) March 5, 2020
If you think this means that players like Josh Gordon — whose career has been destroyed by his inability to control his marijuana intake — will just be blowing freely, well shit ain’t that sweet.
The fine print still makes indulging in any form of illegal substances tricky waters to navigate.
Suspensions are still in play for repeat offenders who fail to cooperate with drug-testing procedures
According to the policy, first-time violators in Stage 2 of the league’s substance-abuse program would be subject to a fine of a half week’s salary. Players who fail a drug test while in Stage 1 and don’t comply with the league’s treatment plan or are “deemed to require specific clinical intervention and/or treatment” can be moved into Stage 2.
Players in Stage 2 are subject to random, unannounced testing.
A second violation of a player in Stage 2 would result in the loss of a full week’s salary. A third violation would cost a player two weeks’ salary. A fourth and every subsequent violation would cost a player three weeks’ salary.
So testing positive would still come with a hefty penalty. Players just wouldn’t be subject to missing time.
The NFL owners might be crazy but they ain’t stupid. They appear to be gifting something to NFL players that is really just a way to get those 17 games and get free labor our of all of the cannabis lovers who think this new rule is permission to smoke till you choke. It’s really a mission to smoke until you go broke.