NEW ORLEANS — A recent survey conducted by the National Football League Players Assn. indicates that a majority of its members are opposed to random urine testing for drug use. The same survey, made public in condensed form during a press conference here Thursday, also seemed to show that players favor some form of free agency.
The two points undoubtedly will be discussed next month in negotiations between the association and the NFL Management Council. Gene Upshaw, NFLPA executive director, said the negotiations are scheduled to begin shortly after the Pro Bowl Feb. 2.
According to the survey, which included responses from about 35 players on each of the 28 league teams, 72.5% said they were against spot checks for drugs. And 87% of the members polled said it was very important to have the freedom to move from one team to another.
"That obviously hasn't been the case in the past in the NFL," said Mark Murphy, association vice president.
Murphy also said the survey indicated that the players consider free agency with NFL owners their first choice of negotiating systems. The players also preferred an arrangement that would reward winning franchises rather the current system, which is to split all league profits equally among NFL teams.