Browns OL Joe Thomas: NFL marijuana policy is ‘outdated’ –

Joe Thomas thinks the NFL's substance-abuse policy needs to be updated. (USATSI)
Joe Thomas thinks the NFL’s substance-abuse policy needs to be updated. (USATSI)

The Browns lost wide receiver Josh Gordon for the season this week, when the NFL upheld his one-year suspension. Gordon was suspended because he failed a drug test earlier this year.

On Thursday, the Browns played their first game since Gordon’s suspension was announced and naturally, the wide receiver’s name came up in postgame conversation.

In an interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, offensive lineman Joe Thomas didn’t defend Gordon’s actions, but he did strongly criticize the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, saying it’s “outdated” and “doesn’t accurately reflect the morals of society today.”

“I think looking at the NFL drug program, I think they haven’t really touched it in a lot of years because it’s kinda been the one thing when you’re collectively bargaining that it kinda gets put to the end and then when you’re close on a deal you just say ‘ahh let’s just leave it how it’s been’ rather than actually work on maybe some issues that are there,” Thomas said.

The Browns’ Pro Bowl left tackle says the league and players union should look at updating the drug policy now, not in eight years when the new CBA expires.

“I think there’s a resistance from management of the NFL and also from the players association to do that type of needed updating of the drug policy because obviously there’s some oversights when they wrote the program and some cultural changes that have happened that I don’t think the program accurately reflects the morals of society today and the NFL and pro sports in general,” Thomas said.

Thomas is worried that the players are going to be stuck with an outdated policy.

“Obviously the commissioner got a lot of flack for what happened with Ray Rice and I think with the discipline policy he has carte blanche to do whatever he wants, but with the drug policy that’s collectively bargained,” Thomas said. “Until him and [NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice] Smith actually want to get together and fix some of it, I think we’re going to be stuck with an outdated policy.”

As it stands right now, the league’s policy punishes players who measure over 15 nanograms per milliliter in a drug test. That’s more stringent than the 50 ng/ml threshold for MLB. The World Anti-Doping Agency, which regulates testing in the Olympics, recently raised its threshold to 150 ng/ml.

Browns OL Joe Thomas: NFL marijuana policy is ‘outdated’ –

Niners’ Aldon Smith suspended for nine games –

The San Francisco 49ers can finally start planning for life without Aldon Smith.

The NFL on Friday announced a nine-game suspension for Smith for violating the league’s policy on personal conduct and substances of abuse. Smith will be eligible to return for the Week 11 game against the New York Giants. The 49ers have a Week 8 bye.

“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released by the team. “Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Smith has already appealed and lost. The breakdown of the suspension is four games for substances of abuse and five games for violating the personal conduct policy, per the agreement negotiated, according to a source informed of the decision.

One positive for Smith stemming from the negotiations is that he will be allowed to remain around the 49ers‘ facilities during his suspension. Keeping him around the team is something the Niners wanted very badly, according to Rapoport.

It’s the second consecutive season in which Smith will miss several games unrelated to injury. He was out five games in 2013 following a DUI arrest when he voluntarily checked himself into a treatment facility.

Smith, 24, has had a long list of off-field transgressions. He received a 12-day sentence and three years of probation in July following a no-contest plea to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanor DUI charges. The weapons charges (and one of the DUI charges) were in connection to a 2012 party at Smith’s residence where he was stabbed.

Smith also made waves this year when he was accused of making a bomb threat to a TSA agent at Los Angeles International Airport, but charges weren’t filed.

The No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Smith is the fastest player in league history to record 30 sacks (27 games). The team will sorely miss him, especially with some potent offenses on the 49ers‘ early slate. Sixth-year player Dan Skuta is expected to replace Smith in the starting lineup.

The latest “Around The NFL Podcast” hands out the first annual Preseason Awards and predicts the major winners of the regular-season awards.

Niners’ Aldon Smith suspended for nine games –

29400 Ronda,Malaga: Funky Friday: Nothing Butt Cheeky Poolside Art at Hotel Enfrente Arte

These artsy his and hers lounge chairs are sure to be the butt of many a poolside joke at Enfrente Arte

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

Hotel Enfrente Arte in Ronda, Spain, offers its own unique take on hotel art– as in “take

HotelChatter –