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Monday, September 5, 2011
BBAO: Kevin Williams must 'work for free'

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The NFC North will hum along Monday, Labor Day or not, so why not join us for the ride? We'll start by catching up on a series of interviews that Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams conducted over the weekend in response to his two-game NFL suspension that begins this week.

Williams termed it "unbelievable" that the NFL added a two-game fine on top of the suspension, bringing his total bill to $1.4 million. Speaking to Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com, Williams added: "At the end of the day, you can say from the outside that they cut us a break [by reducing the suspension from four games to two games.] But you look close, they're not putting that out there for the public to see that we're still going to get fined four games. Who wants to work for free?"

I can see where Williams is coming from. If the NFL wanted to keep in place the four-game fine Williams was originally on the hook for, it should have based on the total on his 2008 base salary ($1 million) rather than his 2011 total ($6 million). And tacking on the additional fine allows him to play an extra two games, but he won't be paid for them. In the end, however, Williams took a chance on the terms of his discipline changing when he mounted a 2 1/2-year legal challenge.

The NFL could have been more lenient, but I'm guessing it wanted to make clear that any future challenge to its discipline program will be dealt with in a similarly hard-edged manner.

Continuing around the NFC North: