The NFL has a ban on marijuana around most players successfully navigate. The NFL also has voluntary offseason workouts in which most players choose to participate. Those two concepts could provide the basis for a fair and sensible tradeoff in the next labor deal.
The swap would be simple: The prohibition on marijuana use ends, and the “voluntary” offseason workouts become fully or mostly mandatory. It’s a win-win that removes from the sport a pair of currently nonsensical policies that are widely ignored.
Players smoke marijuana, and the smart ones know how to legitimately beat the once-per-year testing process. Players also show up for voluntary offseason workouts, in such numbers that the exceptions generate significant attention and, in some cities, scorn.
It’s an easy trade, with a couple of meaningless and irrelevant policies going away for good, giving each side something to give up, even though neither side is really giving up all that much.
As PFT reported earlier this year, the NFL wants to get away from policing marijuana use by players. If the league is looking for something in return — and if the players are willing to give up anything — voluntary workouts that are voluntary in name only make the most sense.