When a ruling was handed down recently in the StarCaps case, essentially protecting Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams from four-game suspensions imposed by the league for ingesting a banned substance, it was noted by many that it created an unfair situation. On the surface, it's obviously not right that the Williams Wall would be left standing (thanks to drug-testing laws in Minnesota that were not accounted for in the current collective bargaining agreement) while two key members of the New Orleans Saints defensive line, Will Smith and Charles Grant apparently will be forced to serve their suspensions for the exact same violation.
As blatantly unfair as that seems, it's only the half of it.
Unless the league and Players' Union agree to do something to rectify the current situation, the Vikings could theoretically gain a competitive advantage because of the legal protections offered by playing in Minneapolis.
As it stands at the moment, Vikings players could use any number of banned performance-enhancing substances to improve their abilities, making them bigger, faster, and stronger than they might otherwise have been had they played for another team.
And as if that isn't enough, there might also be an extra incentive for some to come to Minnesota to get out from under the threat of being suspended because of a failed drug test.
Think of the advantage that might create as well in recruiting free agents. I mean, is it too much to suggest that guys might be more inclined to look to the Vikings in free agency as a place to be all they can be? Especially those who already have a positive test on their record and face suspension with a second?
Obviously the NFL and Players Union need to get together on this issue soon and close the loophole before the integrity of the game is affected.