11:09pm: Rapoport and Breer published a joint post on NFL.com, reporting that the policy will likely be voted on and passed tomorrow. The league agreed to drop its request of a mandatory one-game suspension for DUI arrest, but there will be two-game suspensions for DUI convictions. Additionally, the THC threshold is expected to move from 15 nanograms/milliliter to 35 ng/ml, which is still less than the standards of MLB (50 ng/ml) or the Olympics (150 ng/ml).
9:40pm: While Rapoport says (on Twitter) that the it’s “no sure thing” that the policy passes tomorrow, Breer tweets the the union received a fresh proposal from the league tonight, and it looks like the new deal will go through. Additionally, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report notes (Twitter link) that though the THC threshold will be increased in the agreement, it won’t be upped to Olympic levels, as many players are opposed to such a notion.
8:30pm: Breer tweets he’s been told repeatedly that the NFLPA will not vote on a proposal without knowing that it will “pass overwhelmingly,” which indicates that the union’s vote tomorrow will result in a new policy being ratified.
8:13pm: The union has scheduled a vote on the new policy for tomorrow afternoon, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Players suspended for amphetamine use – such as Welker, Scandrick, and Dion Jordan – would be reinstated under the agreement (link).
7:28pm: A source close to the negotiations tells Dan Graziano of ESPN.com that the players could vote on the new policy as early as Friday. The new deal could result in an instant reistatement for Wes Welker a reduction of Gordon’s suspension to something in the range of 6-10 games. There are other key changes to the drug policy being discussed, including the handling of HGH testing.
4:23pm: The two sides are circling around a few remaining issues with the policy and are trading proposals, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter). He doubts there will be anything approved by the players tonight, however. Major hurdles have been cleared in the discussions, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
3:00pm: Both the NFL and NFLPA are hoping to finalize a new drug policy tonight in which the suspensions will wind up being overturned, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
2:26pm: The NFLPA told its union representatives to be on standby for a potential vote on a new global drug policy, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. As we’ve heard before, reinstatement for some suspended players is also on table in the talks.
However, the Josh Gordon case remains tricky since his failed test took place before new league year, which is when the grandfathering of the new rules would begin (link). The new league year officially began on March 11, 2014 and the Browns wide receiver flunked his test prior to that date. Others like Wes Welker and Orlando Scandrick, however, could be back in action rather quickly since their positive tests took place in the 2014 league year. The NFLPA has previously said that they would want players who are serving drug suspensions back on the field under the new rules.
Yesterday we heard that there has been significant positive movement toward an agreement between the NFL and NFLPA on a new drug policy, though the league dragged their feet on a new proposal. There was major skepticism yesterday that anything could get done in time for the suspended players to get reinstated for Sunday and from the outside it still sounds unlikely. One might speculate that the ongoing Ray Rice scandal has thrown a wrench into the progress of the drug policy talks.