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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Report: Smith suspension could be shorter

By Pat Yasinskas

It doesn’t sound like anything’s definite just yet, but there’s a report by the St. Paul Pioneer Press that says New Orleans defensive end Will Smith may only have to serve a two-game suspension. The report goes on to say that it’s possible the suspension might not come at the start of the season.

Smith, Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams and former Minnesota defensive lineman Pat Williams were among a group of players the NFL said tested positive for the banned diuretic “StarCaps’’ in 2008. Initially, they were supposed to serve four-game suspensions. Legal action prevented the league from enforcing any suspensions the past few years. But a decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court in recent months cleared the way for the suspensions.

But the report says that this case is being used as a “bargaining chip’’ in negotiations for a new drug-testing policy. An NFL official told the newspaper there was nothing to report on the situation.