Sources: NFLPA Looking Into Eric Reid's Repeated Drug Tests
The NFLPA is "looking into an allegation" by Panthers S Eric Reid that the NFL is "targeting him with excessive drug testing," according to a source cited by David Newton of ESPN.com. Reid yesterday said that he has been "randomly drug tested five times in eight games since taking an initial drug test" after signing with the team in late September. Reid suggested that the tests were "because of his collusion grievance against the NFL." He said, "I know what I'm dealing with. I have a collusion case against the NFL. This is something that doesn't surprise me from them. It's supposed to be random. It's obviously not. I'm not surprised about it. Even though it seems crazy on the outside looking in, and it is, I'm not surprised." Newton noted under the current CBA, the NFL and NFLPA are "not involved in the testing." Instead, it is "performed by an independent laboratory, and a computer program selects the names of players to be tested." Reid said, "I've been looking at math statistics trying to talk to people. I think it's like a 1 percent chance that somebody gets tested this much. Statistically, big problem" (ESPN.com, 11/28).
TAKING THE NEXT STEP: CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora cited sources as saying the NFL and NFLPA are "deep in discussions finalizing the specifics of Colin Kaepernick's collusion grievance hearing against the league." Sources said the process has been "tentatively scheduled" for early '19 in Philadelphia, and is "expected to last at least two weeks." In some cases, potential witnesses "may have to undergo their questioning and cross-examination via satellite or other means, as there are numerous logistics to juggle." Kaepernick's legal team will "depose many" NFL owners, GMs and coaches -- as well as "prominent officials from the NFL offices" including Commissioner Roger Goodell. Two of the owners "set to be a part of this process" -- the Seahawks' Paul Allen and Texans' Bob McNair -- have passed away, but "recorded depositions of them from the discovery process could be admitted" (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/25). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote under the header, "NFL Should Settle Colin Kaepernick Grievance." The league should "do it in order to ensure that none of the testimony, text messages, emails or other materials created by the litigation will ever see the light of day." All of that "can be done, if the NFL is willing to write a check big enough to get Kaepernick to agree to a deal." A "big part of what the league would be paying for" is "silence." To ensure that there would be "no violation, the league could divide the compensation package into annual payments from an escrow account, with the ability to block those payments if Kaepernick violates any of the terms of the settlement" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/28).