Unbeknownst to many of us, the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs contains an interesting provision that ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio discovered recently:
Players who rat out other players for using PEDs can get their own PED suspension reduced.
Cut penalty by up to half
Florio writes that he was reviewing the PED policy when he noticed the following paragraph:
“The NFL Management Council may, prior to the conclusion of a Player’s appeal, reduce the length of the suspension and corresponding bonus forfeiture by up to 50 percent when the Player has provided full and complete assistance (including hearing testimony if required) to the Management Council which results in the finding of an additional violation of the Policy by another Player, coach, trainer or other person subject to this Policy.”
That policy is interesting, to say the least. Given that all PED suspensions are announced, and the discipline guidelines are spelled out, it would be pretty obvious if a player had cooperated with the league, and suddenly a player who should have gotten a four-game only got two.
And then all of his teammates, if they know this provision, will be assuming he named names – and wondering if he named them.
How will that go over in a locker room?
Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson saw the ProFootballTalk tweet and commented on it with a simple, “No snitchin'” with a pair of emojis.
Johnson has never been afraid to speak his mind – he’s had a lot to say about the New England Patriots this offseason – but there’s a small problem with him speaking out against the snitch-reward policy.
The 28-year-old has been suspended twice for PEDs, once in 2014 and the second time in 2016; the second infraction drew a 10-game suspension.
Johnson said he was innocent in the second case, and was critical of the NFL Players’ Association in the wake of his punishment.