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Under new CBA, marijuana use would virtually never be an issue again for NFL players

Pro Football Rumors logo Pro Football Rumors 2/22/2020 Andrew Ortenberg, Pro Football Rumors
Roger Goodell wearing a suit and tie: Under the owners' CBA proposal, suspending NFL players for marijuana use would be a thing of this past for commissioner Roger Goodell. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Under the owners' CBA proposal, suspending NFL players for marijuana use would be a thing of this past for commissioner Roger Goodell.

The momentum toward a new CBA took a blow on Friday, but all hope is not lost, as the two sides have agreed to meet at the Combine next week. As we await more word on where exactly the players union stands, here’s the latest on what was in the most recent proposal:

  • There’s been talk for a while about the new deal relaxing marijuana restrictions, and we have the full details on what that would look like, courtesy of Mark Maske of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The THC testing window would be reduced from a huge four-month period to just two weeks at the start of training camp. Additionally, players would no longer be suspended solely for positive marijuana tests, the number of players tested would be reduced and the thresholds for positive tests would be increased. In other words, marijuana use will virtually never be an issue again for NFL players.
  • Another smaller benefit for the players is they won’t have to pay as much money in fines, Maske tweets. The proposal will apparently reduce the fines from both teams and the league for on-field infractions. That means players won’t be fined as much for things such as unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
  • One issue that players didn’t get what they wanted on is the ‘funding rule,’ per Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The players wanted the rule eliminated, but instead Graziano notes the proposal only “weaken[ed] the rule somewhat.” The rule requires teams to put any amount of guaranteed money in a contract over $2 million into escrow. As Graziano points out, it’s an outdated rule from many years ago designed to prevent teams from being unable to make payroll. As the players have argued for years now, that makes owners less willing to give players large guarantees, since they have to put all the money away up front. Graziano writes that the proposal increases the “funding rule threshold to $15 million in the first year of the deal and $17 million in 2029, the final year of the deal.”
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