NFL-NFLPA Pain Management Committee Issue Request for Information to Researchers on Pain Management Alternatives to Opioids 

The NFL-NFLPA Pain Management Committee (PMC) works to establish uniform standards for club practices and policies regarding pain management and the use of prescription medications by NFL players. As part of that mission, the NFL-NFLPA is working to improve player health through evidence-based treatment of acute and chronic pain, and to facilitate research to better understand and improve potential alternative treatments. To that end, the PMC has issued the following Request for Information (RFI) to researchers studying pain management alternatives to opioids.

Request for Information from NFL-NFLPA's Pain Management Committee

Alternatives to Opioids: Effects on Pain and Performance

The submission window for this opportunity is now closed. We are no longer receiving inquiries or questions about submitted materials. Please check back for future updates and research opportunities.


This is a request for information ("RFI"). It is not a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or studies (each, a "Study"), and there is no commitment to fund your or any other Study. The purpose of this notice is to identify investigators who have the current capability to carry out Studies aimed at supplementing the NFL-NFLPA Pain Management Committee's ("PMC") knowledge about pain management and athletic performance in NFL players. Possible areas of investigation include:

  1. The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered to be alternatives to opioids in routine pain management of NFL players. Medications may include, but are not limited to, cannabinoids such as cannabidiol ("CBD").
  2. The impact of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance in NFL players.
  3. The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered adjunctive to routine post-surgical orthopedic pain management in NFL football players.


The PMC was formed in 2019 as part of the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement with the goal of benefitting the health and safety of NFL players through education and research. The PMC has produced educational materials for players and team medical staffs that promote best clinical practices in pain management. The PMC is also interested in finding alternatives to opioids in the pain management of players, and in 2020 conducted two informational forums on CBD to learn about the current state of CBD science and manufacturing in North America. Now the PMC is turning its attention to identifying potential research opportunities aimed at supplementing the PMC's knowledge about pain management and the potential effect(s) of pain on performance in NFL players.


Respondents (i.e., investigators) ("Respondents") should have experience conducting controlled, experimental studies in areas described by this RFI and should be affiliated with institutions or companies that meet state, federal, and IRB requirements and allow the execution of studies that fall under the purview of this RFI.

Respondents must also agree to the Conditions for Submission which can be accessed here.

Submission Instructions:

Respondents are asked to provide only the most pertinent information, data, and materials necessary to adequately convey a declaration of capability in line with this notice.

Respondents are asked to provide a cover page that contains the following information:

  • All point of contact information (name, position, email addresses, phone numbers, and physical mailing address).
  • Identification as an institution, or large or small business. If small, indicate the governmental classification.
  • Identification of products on Federal Supply Schedules, if any, and the relevant schedule numbers.

Submissions are due by March 31, 2021, and are limited to three (3) per institution.

Proprietary information, if any, should be minimized and MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED. To aid the PMC, please segregate and clearly mark proprietary information. Please be advised that all submissions become the property of the NFL-NFLPA PMC and will not be returned.

Thank you for your interest in the PMC and this RFI. This is a request for information ONLY. As such, any information received will be used only for the purpose of identifying and planning future PMC funding and other activities. Please fill out the Conditions for Submission and submit responses electronically to with subject "[Company Name], RFI, and Title".

This is NOT a solicitation announcement or a commitment to funding.

This is a request for information ONLY.

Click here to access a PDF version of the RFI.