NFLPA rebuffed HGH offer while Gordon appeal was pending


At a time when the NFLPA could be facing pressure from players who would benefit, directly or indirectly, from the lifting of suspensions arising from a new drug policy, it turns out that the NFLPA previously has resisted the notion of agreeing to a deal that affects all players simply to help a few of them.

Per a league source, the NFL broached the idea of wiping out Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s one-season suspension while his appeal was pending, in exchange for a final agreement on HGH testing.  By raising the permissible level of marijuana metabolites from 15 ng/ml to the Olympic standard of 150 ng/ml under a new drug policy, Gordon’s most recent positive test actually would have been a negative.

But the NFLPA resisted then, just as it’s apparently resisting now.  While the NFL surely hopes that the potential elimination of suspensions will prompt calls to the NFLPA from players and the teammates who want them to be available to play, the union seems disinclined to agree to a policy that doesn’t work as well as it could or should for all players.

As to HGH, the players believe that Commissioner Roger Goodell should be willing to sacrifice final say over violations arising from something other than a positive test.  The logic is simple; if his decision is fair, a third-party arbitrator will agree.

The issue seems to be big enough to prevent the players and the league from agreeing to adopt a new drug policy swiftly.  The league likely assumes the union will bend to help specific players.  The union apparently won’t.  If the league acknowledges that, maybe the two sides can find a way to work this thing out.

49 responses to “NFLPA rebuffed HGH offer while Gordon appeal was pending

  1. Get to the point. Should I drop my deep sleeper running back and pick up Josh Gordon on the prayer he sees the field this year, or not?

  2. Ridiculous. If the NFL doesn’t believe that Gordon should be suspended (and it appears as though they don’t) what the point in pushing through his suspension? Just pure petulance? It’s pathetic.

  3. Both sides need to do the right thing here.

    The NFL needs to let an independent arbitrator hear the appeals. The NFLPA needs to agree to immediate testing.

    Bang. Done. Move on.

  4. The union’s scared that 15-25% of all players in the NFL will be suspended once HGH testing comes into effect.

  5. Here’s a thought…tell all the reps what the actual proposal is and see if they want to agree or not. If the league’s proposal is so ridiculous then the vast majority of players would say no. If it isn’t they could tell their reps to get off their butts and sign the deal.

  6. Good for the union for not budging. Those few star players screwed themselves. There’s no reason every NFL player should have to concede something to help those few morons who knew the current guidelines and broke them anyway.

  7. I kind of take the leagues side on this one, there’s no real reason that there shouldn’t be a third party arbitrator on these issues. Is Goddell really that power hungry he needs to be judge, jury, and executioner?

  8. The timing of this seems uniquely unfair to Josh Gordon, maybe they should just decide to put the suspension on hold while both sides can get on the same page and work out the stuff between them that is still unresolved. There’s a chance that an agreement can be worked out which would nullify the suspension in a way that none of the parties have a problem with, and if not then they could still apply the suspension later. I just have a hard time grasping why it’s so wrong for Josh Gordon to be allowed to play football given the circumstances of his case and in comparison to how other players have been treated for their transgressions.

  9. All the players want to do is to smoke as many marijuana joints as they would like.
    The NFL ahould let them.
    We need more Cheech and Chong movies.

  10. Im going to be honest here. This is not a court of law. This is a business. Both the organizations and the players say it all the time. Your boss (Goodell is one of the bosses) is your boss. Any other job, you dont need an arbitrator when you break the rules. Your boss just decides what to do.

    All this crying over Goodell with the power is annoying and stupid. All a 3rd party arbitrator would do is draw out these things. Its stupid.

    Dont do dope. Stop using PEDS and all of this is of no concern. But players cant resist. And so they are looking for any loophole they can get.

    Just stop risking the millions of dollars you make. Be smart and realize you are doing something that millions dream about.

  11. the union is not supposed to sell out its entire constituency for one guy. that would be the opposite of the term “union”.

  12. Still about Goodell’s power. Fight on NFLPA

    a fan

    P.S. Now we know why the decision after Gordon’s appeal took so long.

  13. People keep pretending like HGH isn’t an issue in football. If HGH use wasn’t super prevalent, the nflpa would have agreed to the testing policy long ago.

  14. Team PFT: what about reports of a soft deadline this weekend? If it does not get resolved in the next few days, what are the chances it will get resolved this season?

  15. “The issue seems to be big enough to prevent the players and the league from agreeing to adopt a new drug policy swiftly.”

    Or at all it would appear…

    Goodell is a control freak. Why else would he not concede this reasonable point? Surely it’s a good thing for his decisions on grey area cases, i.e. “something other than a positive test” to face independent scrutiny. The players are already subject to that in their appeals. Just ask Josh.

  16. I’m beginning to think the entire marijuana case against Gordon was a bogus setup by the NFL in an attempt by the NFL to push the union to accept something less than a good agreement.

    First Gordon, the NFL’s top WR was suspended by the NFL for being 1 nanogram/ml over the limit and 1.6 ng/ml “under” the limit when the B sample was tested…this according to NFL testing.

    …this after Gordon had tested negative for 70 consecutive tests.

    …oh what tough luck for the Browns, right?

    Then one of the most popular NFL players, Wes Welker is fingered for a substance called “molly”…this after never having an issue with such a drug during his 10 yr career.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t trust Roger Goodell …especially after seeing how he handled Bountygate.

    Roger Goodell needs to agree to a neutral arbiter to insure there is an agreement reached…and Josh Gordon should be “set free” regardless of the outcome of negotiations.

  17. Kind of sounds like Josh Gordon is being played as a Pawn in the NFL’s case for HGH testing. They could have let him go, reduce his suspension, or suspend him for a year for one positive test and one negative even though it would be popular to set him free. With Gordon, and now Welker suspended everyone is going to be calling on the NFLPA to get a deal done so it looks bad on them. Well played Goodell, well played.

  18. Rodger …let it go …you don’t have to be judge and jury.
    The players don’t trust you especially after you essentially
    admitted to collusion. You may have called it a violation
    of the competitive spirit or something else. However bottom line
    it was an attempt to limit spending in an uncapped year.
    So just let it go. We need an HGH testing program . You have enough to do. You don’t need to be the final word. Let a professional mediator
    make the call. I believe Rodger would try to be fair but he will never
    escape the negative comments and doubts . It just not worth it

  19. Wow – do the players understand that their precious union is sacrificing some of them to attempt to get something that the league has already shown they are willing shut down the whole thing for?

  20. Wow, you brought your A game here tonight, Mr. Florio! Excellent article, clearly explains all perspectives of a confusing issue (maybe you should be in the room when the two sides next sit down?) without bias, conjecture or drama.

    I wish they could come up with something simple, black-and-white, and rooted in that long-lost value of common sense.

    If it helps a guy’s performance unfairly, it’s banned. If it does not enhance performance, butt the heck out!

    As to the substances that should be banned, teams would probably suddenly figure out how to handle their grown men if games played in since the last clean test were forfeited. Yes, that would include my beloved Seahawks if they screw up again.

  21. Forgot to say, please get Welker back on the field by Week 3; I want to know we beat these guys at full strength after they solidly thumped us in the pre-season. (Welker, please keep yourself in game shape for when you get the call.)

    No excuses about going against the other team’s twos and threes in pre-season; generally those QBs also have only the twos and threes blocking for them and catching their passes.

  22. If they are planning to move amphetamines from the PED policy to the substance abuse policy then they should also change how testing is done for Substance abuse. Currently players that are not in “the program” (haven’t tested positive before or gotten arrested for DUI/Possession) are only tested once per year at the start of training camp. If they pass it then then they are free and clear for a year to smoke, snort, pop pills all they want without worry unless the get arrested. This should be changed to random testing throughout the year same as the PED policy. They don’t even have to do any extra testing for this change. When a player comes up for the random PED test then use part of the sample for Substance abuse also.

  23. Absolutely preposterous a player would be banned for a year for pot. Ludicrous. Alcohol is way more dangerous and pot is now legal in most states. At the very least, they should adopt the Olympic standard but even that is ridiculous. Pot is a good thing, society has been manipulated by 2 rich families to make it illegal. Sad.

  24. The league likely assumes the union will bend to help specific players. The union apparently won’t. If the league acknowledges that, maybe the two sides can find a way to work this thing out.


    Once again it is the league that needs to bend. That is your usual stance in everything NFLPA related.

    Perhaps the union needs to focus more on having it’s players return negative tests instead of focusing on trying to escape punishment when testing positive?

    If you agree to a 3rd party, then the union drags it’s feet yet again on an arbiter because you can’t resolve an appeal until you have someone to appeal it to. Technically you have agreed to the testing but no one can be punished.

    That’s a win for the union.

    You can also guarantee that if an independent arbiter is agreed upon it will be someone who is inclined to accept any excuse the NFLPA has because theres no upside to union to agreeing to an arbiter at all.

    There will be another article on here how the NFL has to bend to the NFLPA to get the arbiter.

  25. watchfullhose says:
    Sep 5, 2014 10:57 PM
    Ridiculous. If the NFL doesn’t believe that Gordon should be suspended (and it appears as though they don’t) what the point in pushing through his suspension? Just pure petulance? It’s pathetic.


    Troll much? Just like the Ray Rice suspension of 2 games. Those are the rules that currently exist.

    The league wants to change the drug test rules. Even though every change is beneficial to the players, the union wants more because their platform is based on reducing goodell’s power.

    If the union agrees to the changes, even though it reduces or eliminates suspensions of current players and makes things easier on future infractions, they lose any leverage over Goodell.

    The union only cares about leverage over Goodell, you are sorely mistaken if you think they care about the players. It’s all spin by the NFLPA. The next thing you know we’ll hear how it was the NFLPA who wants to reduce the suspensions, not the league.

    Count on it.

  26. I still can not comprehend why so many people feel josh is a victim here. He knew the rules. He knew the repercussions for another failed test. He failed it anyway for a third time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t find pot a terrible drug. It doesn’t matter if its legal in some states. Your employer is free to have standards for you to abide by. At my job if I talk to the media or post negative comments on social media I will be terminated even tho such actions are perfectly legal.

  27. If they come to an agreement next week, I’m going to suspect it’s someone in the Steelers camp who’s been holding up an agreement this week. Keep Gordon from playing this week against the Steelers then get an agreement before they play the other division opponents, Bengals and Ravens, the next two weeks.

  28. hgh is much worse than pot etc… its about taking another players job and integrity of the game. I know folks will argue the role model – but its not like we have that many in America anyway.

  29. He failed 3 times with the rules in place. If you say well the Olympics have lower thresholds so he should be given a pass then why not use the lingerie football league which had no threshold.

  30. “He failed 3 times with the rules in place.”


    I am SO sick of people commenting about things they know NOTHING about. Shows the “three times” Gordon failed drug tests for marijuana in the NFL with the “rules in place.”

    Also, FYI….this compares to none of your jobs. Anyone who thinks they can compare the NFL to their job doesn’t have the mental capacity to do anything besides placing orders for fries (and maybe used cars – that’s a joke).

  31. NFLPA saw what happened after the MLB testing sample year. It was supposed to be anon but names leaked out and it was almost every star in the sport.

  32. So this isn’t about the interest of the player, this was about using Gordon as a pawn? Amazing an independent arbitrator would prolong his ruling and sway his findings in favor of the league after the NFLPA didn’t bite. A very fishy process.

  33. It just says to me that there are a lot more players that will be affected negatively by the HGH policy than helped by adjusting the other policies. The NFLPA actions make it appear that HGH use is more widespread than any will admit.

  34. OK, lets say Josh Gordon suspension is reversed. Doesn’t that mean his new suspension for his DUI while already in Phase 3 of the program can begin? NFLPA is standing up for the wrong person here. They are protecting a idiot. This came into the league with a history of being a trouble maker.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.