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Report: Starcaps Suspensions To Potentially Be Reduced

That's what Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting, in any case. This means that the suspensions for Kevin Williams, Pat Williams (should he sign anywhere in the near future), and New Orleans Saints' defensive end Will Smith will be cut in half thanks to the still ongoing negotiations in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

At issue for the league is how to discipline the StarCaps players under the new CBA for violating terms of the expired labor agreement. Players who tested positive for banned weight-loss supplements such as StarCaps were suspended four games, the same punishment for players who were caught using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

According to the union official, the NFL and Players Association would distinguish the offenses in the new policy and implement a two-tiered system of discipline - two-game suspensions for testing positive for diuretics; six games for testing positive for steroids.

Reducing Williams and Smith's suspensions to two games would bring their punishment in line with the more nuanced policy.

We've been following this story forever, it seems, and though I'll never be convinced that anything short of the league dropping the whole thing completely is the right thing to do, it appears as though this is probably the best we can hope for.

It is also unlikely that Kevin Williams will be punished before the Vikings open the season against San Diego on September 11, according to Murphy.

Williams will miss the final two games of the pre-season with plantar fasciitis, but all indicators are that he should be ready to give it a go for the season opener.