Vikings starting defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams successfully finagled last Friday a stay of their four-game suspensions pending resolution of the appeal of a ruling that, even though the NFL violated their rights under Minnesota drug-testing laws, the suspensions must be served.
But while the decision to further delay the suspensions allows both men to play, presumably for at least all of the 2010 season, they want the case to end.
“It’s a good thing, but to us it’s not over,” Kevin Williams told Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It’s
just something that’s dragging it out even longer. I think me and Pat
both want the situation to be over. We’re trying to get the appeal
going, but we wish it would happen sooner than later.”
Vikings fans likely prefer a delay, given that the team seems to have a solid shot at being a serious contender again in 2011 — and in light of the reality that 37-year-old Pat Williams likely will retire after the coming season.
“That’s what I’m thinking,” Pat Williams said. “Go win a championship and get out
A negotiated settlement remains a possibility, at least from the players’ perspective. “We want it to go away,” Kevin Williams said. “If that being us settling
something, that’s settling something. We’re not trying to go through
this another year I don’t think. . . . We’re always open to settling
something, but [it has to be] fair. Not just what they’re thinking. . . .
“I wish [the NFL] would take some ownership in what is going on. We took
the pills or whatnot, but there is some wrongdoing on their side too.”
Given that other players tested positive for Bumetanide and weren’t suspended, we propose the following terms for a settlement of the case:
1. No suspension will be imposed on the players.
2. The players will be fined in the amount of two game checks based on their 2008 base salaries.
3. The NFL will make a contribution in an equal amount to the fine pool, which is donated to charity.
The same deal would then be offered to Saints defensive end Will Smith and free-agent defensive end Charles Grant.
That said, Pat Williams probably should hold firm. He’ll likely be long gone by the time this one is resolved, and so he’ll likely neither be fined nor suspended.