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No new drug-testing policy until next week, at the earliest

Wes Welker

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker chats with reporters after taking part in an off-season training camp at the NFL football team’s training headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


The NFL and the players’ union are close to an agreement on a new drug-testing policy, but not close enough to get it done this weekend.

A league source tells PFT that the earliest a new policy could get done is early next week. The ball is currently in the league’s court, as the NFL Players Association has made a proposal that requires the league’s response.

There was some hope that players suspended under the current policy -- including Broncos receiver Wes Welker and Browns receiver Josh Gordon -- could have those suspensions lifted in time for them to play in Week One. But that’s not happening. It’s still possible that a new deal could get done and that the new deal would be applied retroactively to players like Welker and Gordon, but not in time to spare them from sitting out Week One.

If the NFLPA leadership accepts a new agreement, the board of player representatives still has to vote on it, and logistically, there’s just too much to do for there to be any hope of getting it done this weekend. A new deal may be close, but not that close.