The NFL and the NFL Players Association have intensified negotiations to implement a new drug policy that includes a revamped drug testing policy, HGH testing and a new classification of some substances not as PEDs but as "substances of abuse," according to ESPN. This could be very good news for Orlando Scandrick and a few other headline-grabbing names like Denver's Wes Welker and Cleveland's Josh Gordon.
According to Pro Football Talk, the NFLPA is close to meeting the NFL's demands for HGH testing, but in return is asking for lesser penalties for other substances in the new drug policy:
One change is that offseason use of amphetamines would move from the performance-enhancing substance policy to the substance-abuse policy. That would mean that Welker would switch from a first-time offender in the PED policy (which carries an automatic four-game suspension) to a first-time offender in the substance-abuse policy (which carries no suspension).
Another change is that the threshold to trigger a positive result on a marijuana test would rise. That would affect Gordon because his positive marijuana test was just barely above the NFL’s current threshold for a positive, which is significantly lower than the threshold for other organizations like the World Anti-Doping Agency.
If the NFL changes its policy and agrees to apply it retroactively to players who tested positive this year, Welker and Gordon would benefit.
Orlando Scandrick's name is not included in the article, but his case is similar to that of Wes Welker, as both players were tested positive for amphetamines, for which they both received four-game suspensions.
But betting on the league to implement such a new policy retroactively requires a big leap of faith, one that Jerry Jones isn't willing to take.
"I'm not planning on it, let's put it like that," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM/105.3. "The quicker we can get him back, the better our team would be because he arguably did have ... a great training camp. I really admired the way that he really kept competing and kept preparing himself for the season even though he knew he was going to be out for the four games."
Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas points out that when the league announced its new policy on domestic violence recently, it didn't apply it retroactively to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, whose two-game suspension would have increased to six.
In any case, it's probably too late to expect Scandrick to be available for the 49ers game, but the Cowboys are sure to be keeping their fingers crossed that a resolution will be forthcoming in time for the Week 2 game against the Titans. Pro Football Talk even thinks that resolution could come today:
New NFL drug testing policy could come at any time http://t.co/cXceA0rIGa— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 6, 2014
Tom Pelissario, NFL writer for USAToday, doesn't share PFT's optimism:
NFLPA leadership hasn't heard a word from the NFL on the drug policy since last night. Could change anytime, but the clock is ticking.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 6, 2014
For the other suspended Cowboys player, safety Jakar Hamilton, the prospect of a new drug policy doesn't offer any hope. His suspension is a result of a missed drug test during OTAs, and the enforcement of that is unlikely to change with a new drug policy.