NEW ORLEANS -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that he doesn't plan to suspend Kevin Williams when the lockout is over, even though the defensive tackle is no longer appealing the StarCaps case.
That's because Williams' teammate, nose tackle Pat Williams, is taking his case to the Minnesota State Supreme Court after a Feb. 8 ruling in which the Minnesota Court of Appeals declined to block the NFL's suspensions of the Williamses for taking a banned diuretic.
"I think we'll wait until the litigation is done before we make a decision [on any potential suspensions]," Goodell told two Twin Cities reporters following his news conference that wrapped up the NFL owners meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Kevin Williams decided not to pursue any more legal action in a case that began in December 2008. If Williams ends up serving a four-game suspension, he stands to lose about $1.4 million of his $6 million base salary for the 2011 season.
Pat Williams, who turns 39 in October, is a free agent and it's unclear whether the Vikings will try to re-sign him. The expectation is it could take three months for the state Surpeme Court to decide whether to even review the case. That means if the court does take the case, that both Kevin and Pat Williams almost certainly would be assured of playing another year.
Goodell also talked about the Vikings stadium issue. A stadium bill is expected to be introduced as the team enters the final season of its lease at the Metrodome.
"All efforts are to keep the team there," Goodell said when asked about the NFL's concerns if a stadium bill isn't passed in this session. "I think there’s some urgency to having the stadium addressed both in the short term and the long term. We have a short team issue with the Dome itself, a long-term issue with getting a solution to that.”
Goodell said he would be "more than happy" to make a trip to the Twin Cities to help in the case and said he has been in touch with Ted Mondale, who is chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.
More from Star Tribune
More From Access Vikings
Team opens at St. Louis on Oct. 13; home opener is two days later against Winnipeg.
The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the April draft.
Coach Zimmer remains convinced Bridgewater will start against the Raiders
The Vikings have mentioned in their pregame literature that fans will be directed to Williams, Mariucci or Ridder Arenas in case a storm disrupts the game at TCF Bank Stadium.
Vikings open preseason against the Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium.