Chris Simms will love two specific aspects of the new CBA.
My PFT Live co-host (four days a week and when he’s otherwise not vomiting on my shoes) thinks the marijuana policy is too strong and the PED policy is too weak. Under the proposed labor deal, the former will be weakened and the latter will be strengthened — at it relates to non-stimulants.
The summary of key terms distributed by the NFL Players Association to all players sets forth the revised terms on the policy regarding performance-enhancing substances.
The proposed CBA increases the penalties for anabolic substances from four games to six games for a first offense, and from 10 games to a whopping 17 for a second offense. Likewise, the punishment for manipulation of a sample and use of a banned substance grows to eight games, from six.
On the other side of the coin, the new deal will reduce the punishment for banned stimulants from four games to two games for a first offense, and from 10 games to five games for a second offense.
The document provided to all players does not address whether the new CBA will entail greater transparency when it comes to positive PED tests. As it now stands, there is little the league can say to rebut the all-too-common contention that a player popped for PED use picked up a tainted supplement at the local GNC. Ideally, confirmed cheaters would be shamed via the disclosure of all relevant details, with no semi-plausible explanation that would allow them to paint themselves as victims. Transparency would enhance the deterrent impact of the policy.
Based on the information provided to players, the NFL and NFLPA are opting to increase deterrence solely by increasing the punishment. At some point, both sides need to consider the wisdom of more clearly painting PED violators as the cheaters that they are in the eyes of the general public.