Veteran players and free agents have gotten clearance to take the field as the NFL players officially ratified the new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement. The new ratified CBA makes the NFL the first major U.S. professional sports league to use blood testing for human growth hormone, according ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The NFL is hoping to have all the details on testing ironed out in time to start HGH testing by Week 1 of the regular season, but the players will still have their say.
According to ESPN, “We have to see if we agree with the test,” Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. “If we agree with the test, then it’s legit. If not, they have to come up with another one.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Players likely will be able to appeal suspensions under the drug policy to an independent arbitrator.
Additionally, other CBA elements that were settled include details about the player’s new benefits package where under the new neuro-cognitive disability benefit players do not have to prove that their mental disability was related to playing football.
James Harrison is one player who will certainly like the newly amended details for penalties associated with on-field discipline as the NFLPA must now be consulted before a player is suspended or fined more than $50,000.
Players now will also be able to argue on appeal that a fine is excessive if it exceeds 25 percent of one week’s pay for a first offense or 50 percent of a week’s pay for a second offense.