Lost at times in the legal odyssey that has landed in more courtrooms than Pacman Jones, Saints defensive end Will Smith continues to face a four-game suspension for taking StarCaps in 2008.
The league received during the 2009 season clearance from the civil justice system to suspend Smith for four games. But the league opted to defer the penalty, given that Vikings defensive ends Pat and Kevin Williams continue to have far greater success in staving off the suspensions.
Still, Smith hopes to find a way to resolve the situation, even as it appears that the suspensions will continue to be delayed for at least another full season as the Williamses appeal a decision to permit the league to proceed.
“It’s a thorn in your foot,” Smith recently told Alex Marvez and Jim Miller of Sirius NFL Radio
of the day, we feel like we didn’t do anything wrong because it wasn’t
like we were using steroids. We’re like, ‘We know we made a mistake by
taking something on the banned substance list.’ We want to try and
resolve it the best way we can and move forward. We don’t want it to
stain our careers that any time we talk about those guys that everybody
refers to the StarCaps.”
Smith said that former Saints defensive end Charles Grant, unsigned after being cut by the team after the 2009 season, feels the same way — they both want to find a way to put it behind them.
But for the same reasons that the league opted not to suspend Smith and Grant when Pat and Kevin remained insulated by the law, the NFL probably won’t be inclined to work out a deal with only some of the players who tested positive for the prescription diuretic that secretly served as the active ingredient in StarCaps. To resolve this mess with one of them, the league likely will feel compelled to resolve it with all of them.
It’s not impossible, but it won’t be easy. And so the situation Smith has called “the never-ending story” won’t be ending any time soon.