La Canfora On NFL Drug Testing: This Isn’t Happening In The NBA

By now, you’ve probably seen the Periscope video of the man who may or may not be Aldon Smith smoking marijuana. If it’s not Smith, it’ll be crisis averted for one of the NFL’s most troubled bad boys.

But if it is?

“Well, it’ll certainly be held against him in Roger Goodell’s court of law,” CBSSports.com NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “There’s no two ways about that. Because of where he is in the substance-abuse policy, they don’t want him to be condoning marijuana use, they don’t want him to be around marijuana, they don’t want him to be holding a joint.”

But if he is, well, La Canfora couldn’t care less.

“That’s why I’m so over this,” he said. “That’s what we’re talking about. Le’Veon Bell was late to a drug test or he forgot to tell the guy he was leaving for Vegas. We’re so in their lives. I get that they signed off on this and it’s collectively bargained, but who’s winning? Who has this sort of drug policy really benefitted? Are less guys smoking pot? No. More are smoking than ever. Are states going toward this pendulum of we’re going to throw the book at you, or are they realizing that a lot of the first-time drug crimes were asinine and we’ve got way too many people in jail for petty drug crimes? And are they legalizing it increasingly in states? Yes. Hmm, well what’s the medical community saying? Well, they’re investing millions of dollars in studies to find out could brains that are damaged, concussed, injured benefit from certain types of medicinal marijuana? Are there real medical benefits to this? And could they be particularly interesting to people who are contractually obligated to suffer head injuries, as I would say NFL players are?

“So at this day and time, with the sort of movement and the culture shifting that way, by and large, for the NFL to be sort of so out here on an island – this isn’t happening in the NBA,” La Canfora continued. “You aren’t seeing NBA stars suspended for any meaningful amount of time for smoking pot. Are you going to tell me they’re not? We test for HGH, but we really don’t want to know. The sample sizes are so small you’re not really going to catch anybody. Do the same thing with pot. If a guy gets arrested for a drug-related crime – if it involves alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, whatever – then he’s in the program. I would hope it’s a treatment program and not a shame-on-you program, but he’s in the program. But why are we testing 325 college kids at the Combine for pot every year? Just tell me who’s winning. Who’s winning the NFL’s – to me – ridiculous war on drugs? Who’s winning it? But at the same time, ‘Yeah, give him another shot of toradol and get back out there, bro.’ Come on.”

In other NFL news, the San Diego Chargers are apparently unsure if Joey Bosa will report to training camp. The No. 3 overall pick has not yet reached a deal with the Chargers.

“These teams, certain teams, they want to stick to their guns,” La Canfora said. “Basically it’s a chance for a guy to double dip if he’s cut. It’s kind of a worst case scenario that you’re fighting over, but let’s be real: That’s all that there’s really left to fight over in these contracts. Everything has become so streamlined and, by and large, so slotted that if you really want to dig your heels in and pick a fight, you can do it. . . . I can’t condone it. If I’m the team, I’m going ahead and giving the guy more or less what he wants when it comes to something as sort of around the way as this. This is not something at the heart of what you’re expecting from a guy you’re picking that high. At some point, someone’s going to blink.

“I’ll put it to you this way,” La Canfora continued. “This collective bargaining agreement is structured in such a way (that) the disincentives for having any sort of holdout situation – for both sides – (are there). From the team side and the player side, for it to actually bleed into a significant amount of camp, you have to be a little bit out there. You have to really be militant in order for both sides to reach a point where they can’t get this done in time for this kid to be on the field with veterans.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, remains at a contract impasse with the Jets, who, at this point, have to be frustrated by the 33-year-old journeyman quarterback.

“This is Ryan Fitzpatrick,” La Canfora said in disbelief. “How long are you going to let him hold your organization hostage? I would have come down at the draft and said, ‘Bro, if we get through this draft without you being signed, we’re taking a quarterback and it’s over.’ But you know what? Even if you did that, there’s so much time between now and then that it’s still not really real – but this is really real. You could come out and do this the day your veterans report and (tell them to only speak to media about players on the roster and say), ‘He’s not on our roster, he’s never going to be on our roster, and we are moving on as an organization.’”

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