NFLPA president Winston says new conduct policy violates CBA

PHOENIX (AP) NFL Players Association President Eric Winston says the league's new personal conduct policy ''violates the CBA in several ways and we're going to be grieving this as far as we can.''

The union filed a grievance against the NFL last week over changes to the policy. NFL owners unanimously approved the changes in December.

''We have an agreement with the league and they have an agreement with us,'' Winston said. ''We're going to hold them to that agreement. Many aspects of this policy fall outside of the CBA and we're going to continue fighting it going forward.''

The union and the league have been at odds over the personal conduct policy since both groups began navigating the Ray Rice domestic violence case and later Adrian Peterson's child abuse case.

After dealing with both issues, a more extensive list of prohibited conduct will be included in the policy, as well as specific criteria for paid leave for anyone charged with a violent crime.

A suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, sexual assault, battery, domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence will be in effect, but with consideration given to mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

''The league's revised conduct policy was the product of a tremendous amount of analysis and work and is based on input from a broad and diverse group of experts within and outside of football, including current players, former players, and the NFL Players Association,'' the league said in a statement last week.

''We and the public firmly believe that all NFL personnel should be held accountable to a stronger, more effective conduct policy. Clearly, the union does not share that belief.''

Other items from the NFLPA's news conference on Thursday:

- NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said the union will issue its own salary cap projections for the first time. They want to counter ''inaccurate'' NFL projections. The projections are expected to be released before the scouting combine next month.

- Smith said no players on the New England Patriots were interviewed regarding the deflated footballs incident because the league wanted to wait until after the Super Bowl. He said each player will have a union lawyer with them.

- Winston said the union will discuss agent regulation at its meeting in March. He said the union needs to do a better job of deciding who they want representing their players.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

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