StarCaps decision could come after draft

Pat and Kevin Williams (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Vikings may not know if Pat and Williams will be suspended for four games until after the 2010 draft, putting the team in an awkward situation when it comes to making sure there is enough depth on the defensive line.

The court case between the NFL and Pat Williams and Kevin Williams wrapped up Friday, but the decision to be rendered by Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson won't likely come down until May – which isn't good news for the Vikings.

Larson will have up to 45 days to render a verdict in the case, a time frame that will come after the 2010 draft. If the Vikings were to know whether or not the Williamses will be suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season, it could greatly affect their draft strategy. As it stands, the team likely isn't going to learn the fate of the Williams Wall until after the draft is completed.

In the final day of testimony, head coach Brad Childress took the stand for only about 10 minutes and emphatically denied that he was the source of the news leak that made the positive tests for the banned substance bumetanide public.

When asked if he spoke to any member of the media about the tests, Childress denied doing so, saying, "That is so anti-me. No I have not."

Vikings vice president Rob Brzezinski also testified Friday before each of the lead attorneys gave their final arguments, which were limited to 30 minutes each. Brzezinski was grilled by NFL attorneys in an effort to prove that the 32 individual teams run the NFL, not the other way around.

In his final summation, NFL attorney Joe Schmitt contended that those in charge of the league's drug testing took the needed steps to maintain confidentiality of the tests. He also argued that, while the Williamses play for the NFL as an organization, they are paid by the Vikings, who withheld $60,000 from their contracts for not reaching weight-clause incentives. Both players admitted to taking StarCaps the night before the drug tests were to be administered, which also was a violation of their contracts with the Vikings.

Williamses' attorney Peter Ginsberg countered that the NFL was aware two years before the positive tests that StarCaps contained bumentanide, but that the league did nothing to warn players of the presence of the banned substance, which wasn't listed among the ingredients on StarCaps packaging.

Final attorney briefs will be submitted by April 2, with Larson having up to 45 days to render a decision in the case. If he takes that amount of time, a decision won't come until mid-May, which would be as much as three weeks after the 2010 draft.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • In a moment of levity in the courtroom Friday, Ginsberg asked Childress, "Now that I have you (under oath), who's going to be your quarterback next year?" Many in the courtroom laughed loudly. Childress didn't answer the question.

  • Rumors are flying in the New York tabloid media that the Jets are closing in on signing LaDainian Tomlinson. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Tomlinson is heading back to San Diego to discuss the possibilities with his family.

  • In an attempt to repair his public image, quarterback Michael Vick will be conducting a summer football camp June 23-25 that will include a pair of Vikings. Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin are joining such names as Donovan McNabb, Roddy White, DeAngelo Hall and Hall of Famer Bruce Smith among the list of players that will be attending the camp.

  • Chester Taylor will continue to wear his familiar No. 29 with the Bears.

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