WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: DeMaurice Smith (L) executive director of the National Football League Players' Association and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (R) look on as Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday addresses the the media on July 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFL players and owners announced they have reached agreement and ended the lockout. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
[UPDATE] From Jay Glazer:
The players have voted to ratify the new CBA!
The new NFL collective bargaining agreement was ratified today at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. This now sets 'in stone,' so to speak, ten years of NFL labor peace.
According to reports, this new agreement will allow for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) testing on NFL players.
According to Judy Battista of the NY Times, the NFL will become the first league to have HGH testing. Mark Maske of WaPo says the deal calls for HGH testing to be implemented within 30 days of ratification, which is just in time for beginning of regular season September 8th.
This news is, of course, history making. No American sports league has ever tested for HGH, and the specter of it's use has clouded the legitimacy of records and the outcome of games. The classic example is Patriots safety Rodney Harrison using HGH to get ready for a playoff game against the Colts in 2004. The Patriots won that game due in large part to Harrison, who had a key INT in the game.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl that year, and Harrison being on the field (with an illegal substance in his system), was a big reason why.
Some, like SI's Will Carroll, think the HGH testing will amount to little:
I'll go on record now: NFL hGH testing will catch no one. Zero. Nada. If I'm wrong, I'll do something for charity.
I'm a bit more optimistic, but, more importantly, it's good that the NFL finally address this 'turd in the punch bowl.' This is why NFL is king, and all other leagues are sucking dust from their tailpipe.