Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote an interesting piece on the ongoing saga of the suit stemming from the players who tested positive for a banned substance they claim they unknowingly took while taking a supplement called "Star Caps." Three Saints players - Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister, and Will Smith - got popped and Smith and Grant ultimately filed a lawsuit, as did some Minnesota Vikings players. But, Florio has noticed a wrinkle and one that I think is worthy of noting: the CBA provisions they violated expired with the old CBA. Does that "wipe the slate clean"? (More after the jump.)
I don't know that this argument is ironclad. I have not read either CBA, but it seems Smith may be able to avoid a suspension here. Considering most of the players who tested positive as a result of using Star Caps are out of the league, the NFL may not consider it worth it to continue to pursue the issue in court. I have little doubt the Artist Formerly Known as the NFLPA would cry foul over this and does the league really want to pick a fight with the union or "trade association" or whatever the entity is right now over two players who got busted for a minor performance enhancer in a nutritional supplement? The sensible thing for the NFL, after a very public labor dispute, may be to just let the matter go. Will Smith was not, as far as we know, shooting horse testosterone into his rear end like Jose Canseco, so is there any real purpose in continuing this? On the other hand, does the League want to take the position that the lockout and the expiration of the CBA were the equivalent of a plenary indulgence for all past sins? I suppose we shall find out soon enough.