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Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams

Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file

Williamses are going separate ways in case

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS and ABBY SIMONS
  • Star Tribune staff writers
  • March 11, 2011 - 2:40 AM

Pat Williams has decided to continue his legal fight with the NFL over a failed drug test, but Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams won't join him.

Pat Williams' attorney delivered a petition for review to the state Supreme Court on Thursday contesting a Feb. 8 ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which declined to block the NFL's suspensions of the Williamses for taking a banned diuretic. The players had 30 days to file a petition for review.

Kevin Williams decided not to pursue any more legal action in a case that began in December 2008. It's unknown whether the players' four-game suspensions can or will be reduced by the league through some sort of negotiation.

For now, Kevin Williams' legal fight is over. Williams declined to comment in a text message. 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 and Kevin have both shown an enormous amount of dedication and frankly courage to continue to pursue this litigation," said their attorney, Peter Ginsberg. "I understand Kevin's feelings that he's just had enough with the lawyers, the courts. There are important principles and protections for NFL players and Minnesota employees at stake. Pat has decided, after much deliberation, to continue. What happened to those two men is unfair and egregious, and we remain optimistic that at the end of this process justice will finally win out."

The Williamses admitted taking StarCaps -- which contains the banned diuretic bumetanide -- to lose weight in order to reach contract incentives. Hennepin County District Court Judge Gary Larson ruled in May that the NFL violated state law requiring three-day notice but that the players weren't harmed.

The Appeals Court declined to block the NFL suspensions because the diuretic the players tested positive for does not fall under the state's workplace drug-testing laws. But the three-judge panel also noted that the NFL is subject to state law when testing players for other drugs that are covered, such as anabolic steroids.

"We think there is some uniqueness to this case that merits Supreme Court consideration," said Pat Williams' agent, Angelo Wright.

Pat Williams, who turns 39 in October, is a free agent and it's unclear whether the Vikings will try to re-sign him. If the state Supreme Court decides to review his case, Williams likely could play another season before a final ruling is handed down.

A four-game suspension for Kevin Williams would be a big blow to the Vikings defense. Williams is a perennial Pro Bowl player and considered one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.

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