Latest On Drug Policy Talks

7:58pm: The NFLPA will have 32 player reps vote on Tuesday regarding a proposed overhauled drug policy after daylong negotiations, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (Twitter link). Mortensen also reported that if the new agreement gets approved, suspended players such as Josh Gordon and Wes Welker could be reinstated.

4:45pm: Negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA on a new drug policy for the league continue to progress, with Albert Breer of the NFL Network reporting that the two sides met in person in New York this afternoon for face-to-face discussions (Twitter link). According to Breer, the in-person meeting is a signal of how talks have advanced, though the policy for DUIs remains a sticking point (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report spoke to a union source who said that are three points that are “non-negotiable” for the players in the new policy. According to Cole (all Twitter links), the players want to ensure that there are no suspensions for initial arrests, reasonable standards for positive marijuana tests, and control over appeals for HGH suspensions. On those last two points, the union would like marijuana standards to be roughly in line with most state-employee standards, and want a third party – rather than the commissioner – have final say on HGH decisions.

As for the idea that the league wants to enact suspensions for initial arrests, Cole adds (via Twitter) that even team executives are confused by that, pointing out that charges might be dropped or a player may be proven innocent. Based on what we’ve heard so far, it sounds as if the NFL would like to institute mandatory deactivations, rather than suspensions, for players charged with DUI. That would allow the league to avoid seeing that player on the field immediately following his arrest, but wouldn’t necessarily dock him any pay unless he was later suspended after due process.

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