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Minnesota Vikings Team Defense

People considering drafting the Minnesota Vikings Defense should be happy that a Minnesota judge ruled that Kevin Williams and Pat Williams should be able to play a full NFL schedule in 2009, after they challenged Roger Goodell’s 4-game suspension levied against both players in court.

This story ranges back to 2008, when Commissioner Goodell sought to suspend both Vikings defensive linemen for alleged positive drug tests. Unfortunately, the banned substance wasn’t mentioned in the ingredients on the bottles of drug taking.

The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, saying that a ban of employees for taking substances not labelled on the bottle violates Minnesota state labor laws. They found a Minnesota judge to agree.

Unless a federal court decides to claim jurisdiction in this case, it now appears both Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are clear to play. Keep an eye on this case, though, because the Minnesota Vikings Defense takes a serious drop in the rankings of both Williams miss four games due to suspension. A federal court has already seen parts of this case, and there’s a chance that same court could get involved again. The Federal Court had sided with the NFL in finding the Williams at fault.

NFL Players Association and Suspensions

The Williams v. NFL court case reminds me that the new head of the NFL Players Association says their organization will negotiate to limit Roger Goodell’s powers to suspend players without consultation in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Citing the number of current NFL players who have expressed private concerns over the NFL Commissioner’s ability to suspend players with virtually no limit, the NFLPA says Goodell’s powers will be an issue in the next negotiation. Players are concerned about the secrecy involving the Roger Goodell’s decision making process and the seemingly arbitrary nature of suspensions.

NFL players want to either have a representative consulted by the NFL commissioner’s office to know how these decisions are arrived at, or they want an arbitration and/or appeals system similar to Major League Baseball (shudder). This could get ugly.

My guess the high profile suspension cases like Michael Vick and Pac-Man Jones play a role in this decision, but the Williams suspensions are perhaps even more instrumental. In the Williams cases, you might remember, players like Deuce McAllister complained they were suspended for a minor infringement that most involved said had nothing to due with illegal drugs or steroid use, but after waffling a bit on the matter, the commissioner refused to consider appeals of any sort.

Apparently, a Minnesota judge decided that at least two players (the Vikings, of course) were suspended without warrant. You can bet the NFLPA sat up and took notice when a judge sided with members of their union.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 1:38 pmand is filed under Fantasy Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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