NFL Threatens Packers Stars Matthews and Peppers with Suspension

With the Deflategate saga finally put to bed, the almighty Roger Goodell is at it again. 

I seems the NFL has sent a nasty letter to the NFLPA regarding the NFL "investigation" of reports from an Al-Jazeera report claiming Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers (among others) were involved with PEDs. The NFL has given the players until August 25th with their request to be interviewed or face disciplinary actions, including suspensions.

The Al Jazeera report was based on the single person account of Charlie Sly, an unpaid intern working at an Indy-based anti-aging clinic. Sly contended that NFL players were receiving shipments of PEDs from the clinic.

Once the report went public, Sly quickly recanted his words saying there was no truth to them and he didn't know he was being recorded.

Peyton Manning was also implicated, agreed to be interviewed and was cleared of any wrongdoing.

So why haven't these other players agreed to be interviewed? Because of real doubts about the verity of the accusations in the report, the NFLPA has resisted allowing the players to be interviewed, saying it sets a very bad precedent.

Basically, they don't think their players need to be questioned about reports that amount to nothing more than hearsay.. If there is some credible evidence, then fine. In this case, not only was it hearsay from the start, it was then recanted on top of that; and the NFL thinks they need to question these players?

I am fully with the NFLPA and the players on this issue. Nothing like making it easier for potential blackmailers or anyone with an axe to grind to do their thing.

NFLPA President recently told ESPN, "The NFL have proved to have a terrible track record when it comes to investigations." (Understatement of the year?)

However, they are not going to win. The long arm of Goodell will come slapping down with suspensions for the players if they don't comply. The NFLPA can try to delay things in the courts, ala Deflategate, but as was then, so it shall be now - you can't beat Roger Goodell. 

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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Comments (59)

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EdsLaces's picture

August 15, 2016 at 07:40 pm

How lovely

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WilsonMaywick's picture

August 15, 2016 at 07:44 pm

It almost looks like Goodell gets off on being a douche. Basing this on a report from a dude named Sly? The ginger bastard is reaching. It's getting hard to remain an NFL fan with Goodell in charge.

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egbertsouse's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:44 am

It pays to be a douche for $44 mil a year.

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The TKstinator's picture

August 15, 2016 at 08:06 pm

Maybe I could accuse Goodell of some kinda wrongdoing, then recant, and the owners could threaten him with suspension anyway.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 16, 2016 at 07:29 am

I started to write comment that I heard that Godell is pedofil and asking from you to report that to FBI, but I can't remmember where and from who I did hear that...

That would be low and I'm not that kind of man. I will not do that and I will not lower my level to that...

So, we had similar thoughts...

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Bearmeat's picture

August 15, 2016 at 08:28 pm

I HATE THIS COMMISHIONER SO MUCH.

I never thought I'd say this, but there is a line that I can see being crossed that would lead to me never watching the NFL again at some point in the near future.

There's too much drama. Too much backroom style "justice." Too much... Goodell, J Jones, Dean Spanos, Snyder, Richardson, Stan Kroenke...

UGH UGH UGH!

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Bearmeat's picture

August 15, 2016 at 08:29 pm

and you know that Al is right. IF CM3/Peppers sue in court and IF they win the preliminary, this will get delayed a year and THEN they'll lose.

Either way, we're probably losing our best 2 OLBs for the better part of the year or the whole year.

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holmesmd's picture

August 15, 2016 at 09:42 pm

Sorry bro,
That argument has no basis. They never failed a drug test. Never caught with anything. If Manning got off when stuff was mailed to his house?! Please don't feed the doom & gloom. Too many of us sit in the worry chair as it is. There is nothing to fear from Sly and his recanted BS allegations. We're better than this! Go Pack!;)

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Bearmeat's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:35 am

I don't think the NFL has a leg to stand on legally. But I also don't think that will stop them from doing whatever they want, which IMO in this case will probably be a witch hunt resulting in another deflategate.

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zoellner25's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:07 am

One thing is for sure, when the new CBA needs to be negotiated, there will be a strike because the players will NEVER give the league and commish this kind of power ever again

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GVPacker's picture

August 16, 2016 at 10:28 am

I'am thinking that could be a good strategy if the Brown Stuff Hits The Fan! Gota think J Peppers is going to hang it up after this season and the Packers could plan( Draft and Free Agency) for losing Matthews at the same time. But this is a worst case scenario. YIKES!

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:04 am

He reminds me of a guy in the 1940s no kidding power is going to his head. I mean the report is a joke flat out joke.

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holmesmd's picture

August 15, 2016 at 08:35 pm

COW already has our guys swinging from the gibbet, so please all sit in the worry chair. Eye roll. Lol.;)

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The TKstinator's picture

August 15, 2016 at 11:54 pm

Heh heh..."worry chair" catching on...:)

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stockholder's picture

August 15, 2016 at 09:26 pm

It's time to ask what Goodell is on.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 15, 2016 at 09:28 pm

What's Goodell on?

His own ego.

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Flow49's picture

August 15, 2016 at 09:54 pm

How does Manning get cleared ASAP? And Peppers, Matthews and Harrison are guilty until proven innocent...

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holmesmd's picture

August 16, 2016 at 07:33 am

My guess would be physique?" One of these things is not like the other........" Hahahahaha;)

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GVPacker's picture

August 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

Doc you've seen Matthews play from 2009 to present, do you think he's Juicing?

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holmesmd's picture

August 17, 2016 at 06:39 pm

No I don't. Not because he doesn't look like he is, but because of his intelligence and character. Peppers, Harrison, and CMIII are generational physical specimens. They're easy targets for this sort of allegation based upon how they look. I believe in our guys and it's a baseless witch hunt IMO:(

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4thand1's picture

August 15, 2016 at 09:57 pm

Dictator Goodell says you will be water boarded to get at the truth. It's time for the players to take a stand.

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holmesmd's picture

August 16, 2016 at 07:37 am

I know I would get tired of bending over if I was the NFLPA. Slippery slope issue big time! Every jilted side chick or jealous douche could allege stuff about these guys constantly! Where does it end? Goodell has lost his friggin mind. He needs to go, seriously. No more Rodger Rabbit:(

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Big Moe's picture

August 15, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Poof! and there goes the last shred of credibility from Goodell. Now lets all make up crap about him and then recant it, but demand an investigation, I'd laugh, but it's just not funny. To quote the Kinks "paranoia will destroy ya"

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Oppy's picture

August 15, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Off topic, but just want to ask/say:

Who the hell is this Brian Price guy the Packers have on the roster at DT?

Was down at camp today, and he has some impressive punch, really strong battler, showed both the ability to hold the point vs the double and also showed he could drive his man into the backfield.

I had a relatively small sample size, but near every rep I caught with Price in, he was doing something worth while.

Caught my eye. If he keeps it up, he makes the squad perhaps.

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holmesmd's picture

August 16, 2016 at 04:40 am

Kid came out of nowhere and many feel he's got a serious shot at the 53. I've heard a lot of good things but know zero about the kid.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 16, 2016 at 12:25 pm

You are not the only one. Couple of people I respect told me to watch this guy. I have him penciled in as a sure fire addition to the PS, with a small chance to make the 53 - thing is, we already have Daniels, Clark, Pennel, and Guion who can play DT. Still, Pennel will be gone for 4 game+, so that is his chance at the 53 this year, at least initially.

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jimtalkbox's picture

August 15, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Goodell and Co. are absolutely ridiculous. Buffoonery of the highest order.

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 15, 2016 at 10:54 pm

Incredible how players want to disregard what their great leader, D Smith, negotiated into the CBA and how fans hate Goodell for taking what was given him for an extra slice of the pie. Money is the root of all evil, it is said, and evil is what the NFL PA bought.

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lucky953's picture

August 15, 2016 at 11:47 pm

NFL PR W-I-T-C-H H-U-N-T
That's all this is.

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Armand Antonio's picture

August 16, 2016 at 06:59 am

This is starting to get a little trendy. I feel like there's a lot of hate and speculation towards the top players in the sport. If this report was towards Jadeveon Clowney, Quinten Coples, Dee Milner, or a Keith Rivers...would Goodell give 2 ****'s?

I'm guessing he wouldn't.

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Since'61's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:35 am

Like Goodell himself, this is a stupid, unnecessary distraction. Unfortunately, he remains in a position where he is allowed to continue to ruin the league. He must go or it will eventually become impossible to watch the NFL. Thanks, Since '61

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bears suck forever's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:44 am

What else does he have to do?

Clearly needs to justify his existance.

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bears suck forever's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:57 am

Perhaps we all should pee in a cup and deliver it to Roger just to be safe.

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zoellner25's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:03 am

This demand by the NFL is a flat out joke. Hey Al, post a blog about Teddy Bridgewater, AP, Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffrey receiving HGH from a fertility doctor in Alabama, and then we can get them investigated too.

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Curt's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:41 am

Maybe I'm naive, but if I was an employer and heard rumors that an employee of mine was on drugs, I'd want to at least spend a couple minutes talking to them.

Not sure I'd summon them to my office, but I'd go and talk to them. The union probably has legal upper hand, and if anything came from my short talk I'd probably be at a disadvantage legally for talking to them, but it seems ignorant to ignore the issue completely.

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Curt's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:44 am

As far as the comparison to Brady, he is a professional quarterback who clearly knew he was using an under-inflated football and purposefully did not cooperate with an investigation. Four games seems about right for the subversion / deception. Would have been longer had it been proven he altered or ordered the altering of the balls (which he dodged by destroying the potential evidence / cell phone).

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:43 pm

How can anyone who followed any part of the Deflategate melodrama possibly believe this?

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al bundy's picture

August 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

All I know is the league, the commish is an attorney, has something they arent revealing. There is a lot more to this story then we know. My guess is these three guys know what that is or suspect something and dont want to talk.
Look if its you and you did nothing, your not going to penalize your team by getting suspended.t

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IcemanBT's picture

August 16, 2016 at 11:20 am

just where is the tangible proof? did any of them fail a league mandated drug test? not to my knowledge. have any of them refused to take said test? again, not that i have heard. all that has been presented so far is some idiot in a bar saying things and then recanting the things he said, wow, some solid evidence there. i always thought it was supposed to be innocent UNTIL proven guilty, not the other way around. someone should maybe look into goddells finacial dealings.....seems like he is raking in way to much bread. threatening suspensions is a bullying tatic, nice message to put out there roger.

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IcemanBT's picture

August 16, 2016 at 11:29 am

and if the commish does get his way, what's to stop him from going all "minority report" and suspending players for what they may do in the future, based on a computer simulation algorythm? won't that be fun, yeah let's totally ruin the fragile working relationship that is in place- bullet head!

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dobber's picture

August 16, 2016 at 11:53 am

Once the league started this process, the players went to the union for advice on how to proceed. It's my expectation that the NFLPA is driving this, now, and that the players are acting based on the union's direction. I don't even think that this really has much to do with these particular players anymore. It's a game of chicken between the league and the union. I don't see any way this isn't going to the courts, and while the league is threatening suspension, it will all get held up there.

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holmesmd's picture

August 17, 2016 at 06:48 pm

Exactly Dobber!

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

August 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm

This is going to turn into another legal battle between Goodell and the NFLPA. Mike Florio, who is a lawyer, explains how this may play out over at PFT.com:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/08/16/faced-with-suspension-th...

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GVPacker's picture

August 16, 2016 at 04:22 pm

I read Florio's piece and it states "Credible Evidence" What constitutes Credible Evidence? How long does a PED substance show up in urine or hair samples? Does a witness or witnesses who state that one of the players was mailed or shipped a substance qualify as "Credible Evidence" Sounds like the standard of proof is merely "Reasonable Suspicion" which means a Kangaroo Court type scenario!

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marpag1's picture

August 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Let's put this in a way that every Packer fan can understand. The NFL is JJ Watt. The NFLPA is Don Barclay. When push comes to shove, the NFL is going to win, and it isn't going to be much of a contest. In fact, consider yourselves fortunate if it isn't an embarrassment.

There are reasons for it.

1) The NFL is massively popular. Football fans are going to have convulsions if there is a "work stoppage," and everybody knows it.

2) There are literally thousands and thousands of semi-respectable football players who would love to play in the NFL. If the current players won't play ball, someone else will, and everybody knows it.

3) NFL owners are clearly better positioned to withstand a strike. Basically they shut down their operations for a while, except for their non-profit front office. Meanwhile, players who have a tiny fraction of the financial resources that owners do are struggling to make payments for the three Cadillac Escalades that they stupidly bought when they thought that they had made the big time. Players will flinch first, and everybody knows it.

4) The NFLPA has been routinely butchered and totally outclassed in any sort of contract negotiation. Part of this is because the players just don't have a lot of leverage (see points 1-3, above). Part of it is because the NFLPA is a bunch of sheep led to the slaughter when it comes to sparring with the NFL brass. Anyone else remember when Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers, patronizingly and insultingly asked Peyton Manning if he needed help reading a financial spreadsheet? This was during the last CBA negotiations. ("Do I need to help you read a revenue chart, son? Do I need to help break that down for you because I don’t know if you know how to read that?’") Well, of course he said that. What do a bunch of 30-something jocks who have spent their whole lives playing football know about legal or financial issues? And how will a players' union that runs of membership dues be able to afford the kind of legal representation that the big money owners have?

I mean, my goodness, just look at some of the language in the CBA and see how players got reamed. The now infamous "Article 46" of the CBA talks about player suspensions for "conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football." Seriously, what the hell does that mean?? Who decides? What is "integrity?" Or "public confidence?" Geez, the whole point of legal writing is to REMOVE and ELIMINATE any verbiage that can be subject to personal interpretation! But the players are in such a weak position that they have signed an agreement that basically entitles the league to make any sort of private interpretation that they want. So now the NFL can stand up with a straight face and say that CM3, Peppers and the other players in question did not provide "meaningful answers." "Meaningful" according to whom?

And it's written into the CBA that the commissioner is judge, jury and executioner, signed at the bottom by NFLPA reps.

I think people are giving Roger Goodell waaaaaaaay too much credit in all of this. Yeah, he's a lawyer... yes, he's the devil... sure, he's a jackass... and a bunch of other things, too. But NFL owners do not pay Goodell upwards of 40 million bucks a year to be their master. They pay him to the goon, the stooge, the rope-a-dope punching bag who gets bludgeoned while doing exactly what the owners want him to do. This allows the owners to sit back and let the vitriol land on someone else (as it currently is).

Someone will say, "Wait a minute... didn't Roger take down Bob Kraft?" Sure... kind of. But none of that would have happened if not for the fact that the other owners had p3nis-envy and were sick of getting kicked around by the Patriots. "OK, Roger... time to earn that money now." So Goodell becomes Lucifer, and Jerry Jones and Danny Snyder can maintain their buddy-buddy working relationship with Kraft.

Hey, I'm with the rest of you. I totally hate this, and I pretty much despise the league office. But it is the reality, and it isn't going to change anytime soon.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 16, 2016 at 02:58 pm

LOL. I spent an hour looking for the CBA language and reading the Brady appellate decision. Long and short is that CM3 and Peppers joined the union, and are stuck with the terms of the CBA.

I hate the notion of PEDs. I hate the pressure to take them if they were allowed or usage was ignored by the NFL. I want the NFL to seriously discourage usage of PEDs. I don't want players to be slandered every time some jerk makes an allegation. But I am fine with Article 46, if it is subordinated to some sort of probable cause section.

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marpag1's picture

August 16, 2016 at 03:42 pm

For the most part, I am in agreement, TGR. The players are in this position because THEY THEMSELVES AGREED to give the NFL near-dictatorial powers. Whether they did that because they had such little bargaining power or because they were clueless and outclassed at the negotiating table I don't know. But it really doesn't matter now that their signatures are at the bottom of the page.

You say, "I'm fine with Article 46, if it is subordinated to some sort of probable cause section." And that's the rub, of course. Does the CBA even demand probable cause? If so, what constitutes probable cause? Is there probable cause in this specific case? From a NFLPA perspective, the CBA seems to be so atrociously worded that all of these questions are left to the discretion of the league. And that's why the NFL "won" the CBA by a landslide.

I'm not real impressed with your comparison to the military, but OK. I would say that playing in the NFL is quite a bit closer to working at Waffle House than it is to serving in the military. (We aren't talking about national security here, and we all know that extraordinary powers and the suspension of civil rights can be granted to the government in time of war or where national security is at stake). But if the employees of Waffle House voluntarily sign an agreement that allows management to walk all over them, then there is nothing they can do to stop it... and it's their own fault.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 16, 2016 at 06:11 pm

That is okay, and I am happy to find another voice of reason. The military comparison was about officers having to answer truthfully even in petty matters, not just inquiries involving national security. They don't have the right in any type of inquiry to remain silent or have an atty with them, IIRC. Lying in such a situation is in itself a court martial offense. The FBI is feared because lying to them is a separate crime, but at least you can remain silent. Folks who become officers in the armed forces cede a lot of rights. Players who join the union cede a lot of rights. It seemed an apt comparison to me.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 16, 2016 at 03:03 pm

I think this thread is hilarious. In other contexts, I suspect that many of the same posters would reach completely opposite conclusions. But we are talking about the NFL, and more specifically, the Green Bay Packers. My own suspicion is that some fans would be fine with packer players going onto the field with syringes still protruding from their bodies, but would howl if that happened with other teams' players.

Anyone here been in the military? Have you looked at the military code of justice? It does not exactly comport with the legal protections afforded to other citizens, now does it? Yet our servicemen and women are bound by it. NFL players are bound by the CBA, and the powers conferred by it upon the Commish.

Anyone ever refused to comply with an order given by a police officer, regardless of whether the order itself is legal or illegal? I taught my sons to comply with such orders regardless of whether the officer had the authority to issue said order. Cause, you know, bad things (not just legal wrangling later or suspensions) can happen if one doesn't.

I see no comment that quotes the CBA provision detailing what powers the NFL brass possesses with regard to investigations, or what evidence is necessary to commence an investigation, or indeed, the rather expansive language used by the 2nd circuit in the Brady case. The majority clearly suggests that even if the specific language on equipment violations supports only fines, the general language/power of the Commish of Article 46 can support suspension.

First, under the NFL constitution, the commissioner is enjoined to: [T]ake or adopt appropriate legal action [which] he deems necessary and proper in the best interest of . . . the League or professional football, whenever any party . . . employed by . . . connected with the League or any member thereof is guilty of any conduct detrimental either to the League . . . or to
professional football. That applies to the Commish and the teams, not the players.

Also, there is a form player contract in Appendix A of the NFL CBA, and section 15 of the form player contract is titled “Integrity of Game, ”providing that [p]layer . . . acknowledges his awareness that if [the player] is guilty of any other form of conduct reasonably judged by the League Commissioner to be detrimental to the League or profession football, the Commissioner will have the right . . . after giving [the] Player the opportunity for a hearing . . . to suspend Player for a period certain or indefinitely . . . ."

There is an argument that the terms of the 2014 PED amenment should exclusively apply. Specific argument: Under the CBA, "that clause [the PED] specifically is triggered when players “are found through sufficient credible documented evidence (see footnote 4) to have used, possessed or distributed performance-enhancing substances.” At footnote 4, the policy defines “credible documented evidence” as “criminal convictions or plea arrangements; admissions, declarations, affidavits, authenticated witness statements, corroborated law enforcement reports or testimony in legal proceedings; authenticated banking, telephone, medical or pharmacy records; or credible information obtained from Players who provide assistance pursuant to Section 10 of the Policy.”

It is true that media reports are not listed, but I could re-frame since the media report is based on a declaration and it might be that the NFL has authenticated medical or pharmacy records. The authority to initiate an investigation under Article 46 seems to vest in the commish, without a lot of detail as to what is necessary to invoke it, as opposed to the authority to initiate an investigation for a PEDs offense under the amendment. [Note: I never found the full amendment - just excepts of it.]

The issue I see is whether the more specific provisions under the PED Amendment of 2014 apply rather than the general powers of the commish under Article 46. Normal contract analysis suggests application of the specific over the general, but the Brady decision seemed to reach the other conclusion in practice.

Some players provided an affidavit of sorts to the NFL. One interesting sentence in the NFL's letter to the union included this tidbit: "that Mr. Neal’s statement includes an assertion that is demonstrably false." I am thinking no team is going to touch Mike Neal - for his own interest, he needs to submit to an interview regardless of what the union wants him to do.

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Packer_Pete's picture

August 16, 2016 at 04:19 pm

IF I understand all of this correctly, then what I can do going forward is claiming that I supplied PEDs to all the stars of the Packers opponents, and only have to get some news organization to run a report on that. I can recant later, and there won't ever be any credible proof, but as a result all stars of opposing teams will be suspended indefinitely? isn't that what it is?

Ok, I supplied the entire Vikings, Bears, and Lions organizations and all their players currently on their rosters with PEDs. I even go on hidden camera claiming that. Can anyone run that? I'll recant in a couple of weeks, but, come on, they have to suspend all 3 teams then, right? Or play with replacement guys... This way the Packers have already automatically won the NFC North...

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JerseyAl's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:09 pm

No I don't, but regardless, once again patting yourself on the back for something that hasn't happened. Kind of like gloating over "Montgomery will never play a snap for the Packers again," just because he started out on PUP.

Welp.

It's just the same old boring shit from you over and over. Predict a thousand negative things and then jump and down when one comes true (if you even wait till it actually happens).

I'm officially tired of your act.

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Oppy's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:42 pm

There are three other NFL teams right here in this division that are accepting applications for fans.

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al bundy's picture

August 16, 2016 at 10:43 pm

1. Trying to win with undrafteds
2. Letting quality people go with no compensation other than not having to pay them what their worth
3. Using crazy defensive schemes no one understands
4. Having a coach call plays, manage the clock, work with the defense, manage red flag et al and doing a piss poor job of it
5. Ignoring superior play by lesser people but playing the Davante Adams because Ted picked them high.

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Packer_Pete's picture

August 17, 2016 at 06:28 am

"1. Trying to win with undrafteds
2. Letting quality people go with no compensation other than not having to pay them what their worth"

1. looking at the W-L records the last few seasons, they do exactly that, so what's the complaint?
2. The Packers are constantly receiving additional draft picks through compensatory, so again, there is compensation. In fact, in the NFL, that's basically the only compensation one can get on a regular basis...

maybe if you come up with arguments chose some that actually make any sense...

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GVPacker's picture

August 16, 2016 at 05:06 pm

What ever happened to Pat and Kevin Williams regarding the Star Caps PED case did they ever serve the Suspensions that the NFL came down with?

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4thand1's picture

August 16, 2016 at 08:56 pm

You guys are all on drugs. Meet me at my house and piss in my Wheaties.

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Community Guy's picture

August 16, 2016 at 09:30 pm

not too many people are framing this situation in terms of privacy rights. the NFL is basically saying that any player can become part of one of its investigations and therefore any targeted player must provide any (private or other) information requested by the league. yet, the league itself is shrouded in privacy (like its finances, rulings on players, etc.). we do not know what information the league has already collected on Clay, Pepp and the al-Jazeera 4. widespread PED use would be a threat to the image of the NFL. hypocritical and/or authoritarian governance by the league is another threat to that image.

one more point: the timing of this investigation is also open for questioning. the league/Goodell is providing an off-field circus when those of us who love the game want to see the game on the field, with its players. it feels like the league recently won its fight v. Brady and it just wants to keep on pushing for more power over the rest of its players.

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MarkinMadison's picture

August 17, 2016 at 07:37 am

Take a look at Pete Dougherty's article at the Journal-Sentinel. Article 46 is a general policy, but the NFL has a specific policy on PEDs. The specific policy on PEDs does not require players to submit to interviews. The general policy, Article 46 does. In this case, the NFL is relying on the general because it gets them what they want.

There is a very simple principle in contractual/statutory interpretation: specific trumps general. If the NFL's PED policy is part of the CBA (I assume it is, but I don't KNOW it is) then the NFLPA has a very good argument that the Brady ruling does not apply here. The NFLPA will probably win this argument if they go to court.

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