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Sides say there's 'a good chance' HGH testing deal will be reached

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  • Sides say there's 'a good chance' HGH testing deal will be reached

    Are the NFL and union finally approaching a deal on HGH testing? The answer is, well, complicated.

    Yahoo Sports reported that the NFL and union are closing in on a deal. In an email to, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello quoted the late George Young, former Giants general manager, who would constantly say there is no such thing as close in negotiations.

    However, a variety of sources -- including several union team player reps -- tell this is the most optimistic both sides have felt in many months about an agreement on HGH testing being reached. There remains the distinct possibility a testing program could be in place for next season.

    Emphasis on possibility, because we've been here before, as sources warned explicitly and repeatedly that the talks between the two sides, currently ongoing at a deliberate pace, could easily collapse. But, again, optimism is high.

    Said one union team representative: “Just a few months ago, I didn't think a deal would ever be reached. Now, I think we've got a good chance for it to happen. That's how this thing goes.”

    As Yahoo reported, the NFL and union have exchanged proposals recently, and according to sources, the union will go over the NFL's latest offer at the union's annual meetings next week in the Caribbean.

    The main sticking point, several union reps explained, continues to be the distrust of commissioner Roger Goodell. The union is pushing for counters to Goodell's power and that, more than anything, is what could scuttle a deal.

    Both sides, according to sources, have hashed out a third-party arbitration system in which player appeals of all positive drug tests would go to an arbitrator. The union wants to further reduce Goodell's power by having third-party arbitration for other player infractions.

    Sources also confirm one of the largest disputes remains with the timing of when the NFL would draw blood to test for HGH. The NFL wants it to happen on game day. The union won't allow it.

    So, again, we have been here before. But something about now makes this different and more optimistic.


    By Mike Freeman | National NFL Insider
    Trading for all Cleveland teams in Cleveland uniforms, Cleveland minor league affiliates & Columbus Bluejackets