While preparing (and, yes, I prepare . . . sometimes) for Tuesday’s PFT Live interview of Vikings V.P. of player personnel Rick Spielman, I remembered the long-forgotten (especially during the lockout) StarCaps situation.
Three years ago, a rash of players tested positive for a prescription diuretic that has been spiked into an over-the-counter supplement known as StarCaps. A lengthy legal challenge ensued, featuring among other things allegations (and evidence) that the NFL knew StarCaps contained banned substances, but that the NFL failed to share that information with the NFLPA or the players generally.
The suit filed under Minnesota law by Vikings defensive tackle Kevin and Pat Williams gained the most traction. Earlier this year, however, the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to take up the case, clearing the way for the NFL to impose four-game suspensions on the Williamses.
The NFL previously had obtained legal clearance to suspend Saints defensive end Will Smith, but the league opted not to enforce the suspension while the Vikings’ case was pending.
So now that the legal situation has been resolved, the NFL will be imposing the suspensions, right?
NFL spokesman Michael Signora told PFT via e-mail on Tuesday that the league has “nothing to report” on the situation, and Spielman hinted that perhaps the suspensions aren’t as much of a certainty as they would seem to be.
Kevin Williams remains on the Vikings roster, and Smith still plays for the Saints. Pat Williams is unsigned.
Regardless of what happens to those three players, Saints defensive end Charles Grant and Saints running back Deuce McAllister were able to essentially avoid the suspensions completely, because their NFL careers have ended before the situation was finalized. (Defensive tackle Grady Jackson had a pending appeal with the league office at the time the legal challenges arose for the other players; Jackson is also now out of the league.)
Still, there’s a chance (and we’re speculating here) that the recently-concluded CBA negotiations wiped the slate clean for Kevin Williams, Will Smith, and Pat Williams.
Either way, we’ll know more by Week One.