On Wednesday, there were reports that the NFL was "close" to an agreement with the NFL Players' Association on a new drug testing policy that would include hGH testing.

On Thursday, NFLPA president Eric Winston, urged everyone to proceed with caution, saying to characterize negotiations as "close" might be premature.

"Players who have been to any collective bargaining negotiation understand that we never describe them as "very close," Winston said in a statement. "We look at every issue we can to improve the rights and benefits of players. This process takes time, it takes creativity and it is never easy.

One issue that remains unresolved is how appeals would be handled. ProFootballTalk.com reported that an hGH testing agreement would allow for an independent arbitrator to resolve appeals of positive tests.

There's also an issue yet to be determined regarding disciplinary action for violations of the policy.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker's four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs accelerated the discussion on the issue.

Before that, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called on the NFL to implement testing for hGH.

Expected to be part of the new policy are harsher DUI penalties, reclassifying amphetamines and boosting marijuana thresholds.

"We want to get a new agreement in place but we understand the responsibility we have to the players and to the game. It is critical that we get this right," Winston said.