Around the NFL
Closure to StarCaps -- and the Williams Wall?
Posted Feb. 08 at 10:47 PM
Since signing run-stuffer Pat Williams six years ago, the Vikings have had one of the NFL's best run defenses. They haven't finished lower than 9th since 2005, and that ability to make opponents one-dimensional has been critical to their pass rush and overall defensive performance.
Those days may now be over. The 38-year-old Williams is a free agent, and isn't expected to return to Minnesota. After yesterday's ruling in the long-running StarCaps case, it doesn't look like he'll play the first month of the 2011 season regardless.
A brief recap: Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and several other NFL players were hit with a league suspension two years ago after testing positive for a banned substance found in StarCaps (a drug the Williams said they took to lose weight). They fought the suspension, and a Minnesota court ruled in their favor -- although the battle has gone on.
Now an appeals court has ruled in favor of the NFL ,and Pat Williams, for his part, says he's done fighting. "I just want it to be over," he said yesterday.
No word if Kevin Williams will try to continue his appeal, but regardless, the loss of Pat Williams, one way or another, will likely stick a fork in the team's dominant run defense. And in fantasy terms, that slippage against the run will also hurt their pass rush (which was a huge disappointment in 2010 anyway).
Minnesota also took Percy Harvin off kick returns late last season; too soon to say if they'll do the same in 2011. Perhaps that decision came due to Harvin's struggles with migraines down the stretch. In any case, barring some personnel additions, or indications that Harvin will again return kickoffs, don't look for Minnesota's defense to appear particularly high in next season's rankings.
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.