The NFL performance-enhancing drug policy has come under a bit of scrutiny this offseason because players are being suspended and letting vague reasons for the suspensions leak out. The primary situation is Julian Edelman, the Patriots wide receiver who was banned for the first four games of the season and .
While digging into the PED policy in relation to the Edelman case, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noticed something interesting: anyone who is popped for PED usage can have their suspension reduced by up to 50 percent if that person provides information to the league about anyone else who has violated the policy.
"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% 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," the policy reads.
In other words, snitches get a severely reduced suspension.
Let's say a player gets suspended four games for a PED violation. Then that player either reveals to the league the name of a player on his team who is also using PEDs or the name of the name of a trainer who is providing PEDs (in a hypothetical situation, of course). That player could have his suspension reduced to two games as a result.
It's not known if such a reduction has ever occurred, although it's pretty unlikely any player out there is ratting out his teammates or coworkers, even if it would mean a reduced suspension.
At least one player,, , made a point to let the world know that disseminating information publicly would not be appreciated.
This is, very likely, a common sentiment for players in the league. Not only is the concept of TEAM violated by anyone who would give up another player or a trainer or a coach in this sort of situation, but it would also be patently obvious that the player in question got a reduction from his original suspension to a shorter suspension for telling on someone else.
Even if the league did its best to keep that information from becoming public, it a) wouldn't be hard to figure out what happened and b) would eventually be leaked out anyway, which would be a very bad look for the player involved.