As it turns out, the NFL and the NFLPA don’t have only one sticking point when it comes to HGH testing. They have two. And that second sticking point could help resolve the first one.
The initial impediment comes from the authority of the Commissioner. The NFL wants the Commissioner to have final say over discipline imposed for violations of the law relating to performance-enhancing drugs. The NFLPA wants those penalties to be resolved by third-party arbitration.
Already, the NFL has agreed to use third-party arbitration for the appeal of all positive PED tests.
The second impediment, we’re told, comes from the penalty for a second offense. The NFLPA wants it to be an eight-game suspension. The NFL is pushing for a 10-game suspension.
The second issue could provide the two sides with a way to resolve the first one. The league could agree to an eight-game suspension for a second offense in exchange for retaining jurisdiction over violations of the law. Or the NFLPA could agree to a 10-game suspension for a second offense in exchange for securing arbitration.
Absent an opportunity for trading horses, there’s no other way the dispute regarding the extent of the Commissioner’s authority can be resolved without one side or the other blinking.