Dominique Foxworth, president of the NFL players association, said Tuesday that trust issues have driven a significant divide between the league's players and commissioner Roger Goodell. That includes any advancement in stalled talks to implement human growth hormone testing.
"They don't trust anybody on Park Avenue," Foxworth said in reference to the NFL's administrative offices in New York City.
Goodell said at the Super Bowl in New Orleans earlier this month that he was hopeful HGH testing would be established before the start of the 2013 season.
Foxworth doubts the widening bridge between players and NFL braintrust can be crossed in a timely fashion and said outside neutralities are necessary.
"Some neutral arbitration is needed," he said.
The deterioration of trust, Foxworth claimed, goes back to the bounty issue with the Saints last season. He said last month that he takes responsibility as the players' voice to help rebuild a relationship with Goodell, but it won't come quickly or easily.
"It's set us back a bit as far as trust is concerned," he said. "It's part of my responsibility to try to rebuild that. It helps us operate a little better and helps things go smoothly if they're willing to cooperate with some checks and balances."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello responded immediately to Foxworth's claim that the league didn't want an appeals process. Aiello said that was simply untrue.
According to the league in discussions on the issue in New Orleans, a third-party appeals panel would be used in HGH case appeals.