Last week, it was reported that, if a court decision regarding the fate of the players who tested positive for a banned substance that had been secretly added to an over-the-counter weight-loss supplement wasn’t issued by the end of the day on Tuesday, the players who took StarCaps could not be suspended for Week One.
So logic suggests that, if the NFL doesn’t make a decision by the end of the day on Tuesday as to whether Saints defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant will be suspended, they’ll be available for New Orleans’ Week Two game at Philly.
Adam-Chris Scheftersen (that’s the name we’ll use when we can’t remember which one said it) reported last night that a decision is imminent.
The decision still could be that the suspensions won’t be imposed, possibly not until the remaining Minnesota litigation involving the two Vikings defensive tackles, Pat and Kevin Williams, is resolved — or possibly not ever.
From a legal standpoint, there’s no reason to delay the suspensions of Grant and Smith. But the league apparently is troubled by the perception that players on different teams will face different consequences for doing the same thing.
The easiest way out for the NFL would be to explain that the suspensions will be held in abeyance until the Minnesota lawsuit is concluded, which would most likely mean that none of the four players will be suspended in 2009.
It also might clear the way for someone to take a chance on free-agent running back Deuce McAllister, who likely has been unable to land with a new team due in part to the belief that he’d have to serve a four-game suspension early in the season.
The best outcome would be a global settlement that comes with an agreement from the NFLPA to make every effort to close the loophole that has allowed the Vikings players to stave off the all of the suspensions (with the exception of Saints guard Jamar Nesbit, who opted to take his medicine for taking his StarCaps last season) for nearly a full year, and counting.