With the additions made in the draft to the Vikings roster, the enthusiasm toward the team's prospects has many fans and players looking forward to the start of the 2009 season.
But one question that continues to hang over the team like a dark cloud concerns the potential that Pat Williams
and Kevin Williams
will face a four-game suspension to start the '09 season. Their court case is expected to be heard June 15 in district court in front of Judge Paul Magnuson. While both sides in the case have already filed briefs, it appears as though the Vikings are going to bring in testimony from another NFL team.
Attorneys for the Williams Wall are planning to subpoena the Buffalo Bills
, the team Pat Williams played for from 1997-2004. The subpoena will ask the Bills to produce documents about StarCaps, the supplement that contained Bumetanide, the banned substance for which the Williamses are believed to have tested positive.
The assertion made by the attorneys for the Williamses claim that StarCaps were "freely distributed" in the Bills locker room during that time and that several players routinely used the product – an allegation the Bills are denying.
In a story in The Buffalo News
, the Bills issued a statement saying: "We have never heard these allegations and we are not aware of anyone representing the Bills distributing StarCaps – an over-the-counter weight loss supplement – to players. Their allegations were made by an attorney and not by any players."
The NFL continues to maintain that players were warned that supplement companies are not always forthcoming about the ingredients printed on the labels of their products and that players are responsible for anything they put in their bodies. The attorneys for Pat and Kevin maintain that the league was aware that StarCaps contained a banned substance, but failed to tell the players association, which they feel is a form of entrapment.
Brad Johnson has been thrown under the bus by former teammate Warren Sapp, now an analyst for NFL Network. Last year, Ed Werder of ESPN reported a division among the Cowboys concerning Terrell Owens. At the time, fingers were pointed at QB Tony Romo and TE Jason Witten, but Sapp claims the information was provided by Johnson, who has denied he was the in-house squealer.
Comcast subscribers can rest easy … at least for a while. The cable giant and the NFL Network have been butting heads in recent months for its decision to move the NFL Network to a sports-tier of programming, while the league wants the network available on an expanded basic package. The agreement with Comcast was to expire at midnight this morning, but the two sides continue to dialogue and Comcast announced it will continue to carry the network beyond the contractual deadline.
Houston Texans linebacker and former USC star Brian Cushing said he will seek legal action against the website NFLDraftBible.com over erroneous reports that both he and teammate Clay Matthews tested positive for steroids at the Combine. When the pre-draft list of positive results was released days before the draft, neither Cushing nor Matthews was on the list.
The Vikings first rookie minicamp gets underway today and runs through Sunday. The full-squad minicamp will be later this month.
Pat and Kevin Williams are bringing the Buffalo Bills into the picture when it comes to their attempts to permanently overturn the NFL's four-game suspension. The entire case is set to go to trial on June 15.
Pat and Kevin Williams are putting the Bills under the StarCaps microscope.