The StarCaps trial with Pat and Kevin Williams is getting interesting. The accusation of who leaked the positive drug tests to the media is central to the Williamses' case since a breach of confidentiality is part of their claim against the NFL.
Things got a little uglier Thursday in the court case pitting Pat Williams
and Kevin Williams
against the NFL, as Pat's agent claims he lost an endorsement deal and an NFL vice president claimed that a lawyer for the Williamses leaked the information that led to the matter going public.
Adolpho Birch, a vice president of law and labor policy for the NFL said he believed that Peter Ginsberg, the lead attorney for the Williamses, was the "most logical source of the news leak." Birch said he came to that conclusion after the preliminary stories also linked an Atlanta Falcons player that was also a Ginsberg client to the positive tests. Ginsberg denied the claim outside the courtroom Thursday, but will have a chance to make the denial on record Friday.
Birch was one of four witnesses Thursday. The others were Angelo Wright and Tom Condon, the agents for Pat and Kevin Williams, respectively, and Bryan Finkle, a toxicologist for the NFL's steroid program. Birch also said that under examination from the Williamses' attorneys that players tested positive for bumetanide, the substance in StarCaps that was banned, in both 2006 and 2007, but none of them was disciplined.
Both agents claimed their clients missed out on endorsement deals following the bad buzz surrounding their positive tests, with Wright saying an endorsement deal for Pat Williams worth $150,000 was rescinded after the positive tests. They also claimed that, if found guilty, neither would likely be selected to play in a Pro Bowl or be selected to Hall of Fame with a positive test for masking agents on their record. However, Kevin Williams was selected to the Pro Bowl with the cloud of suspicion hanging over his head and Pat Williams was an alternate for the NFC Pro Bowl team.
The case will resume today with Vikings head coach Brad Childress and vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski taking the witness stand.
The Vikings found themselves in some familiar territory when it came to wooing LaDainian Tomlinson. They did much the same last year with Brett Favre. Tomlinson has played his entire career with the San Diego Chargers, so he has never heard a pitch to play for a team since he came out of high school. Much the same was true with Favre. When he announced his retirement after the 2007 and 2008 season, neither the Packers nor the Jets were pounding on his door and telling him how much he was needed. Both teams moved on. The Vikings were different. L.T. reportedly loved what he saw from the Vikings, but may be looking for even more love from other teams.
Tomlinson's next stop is the Jets, but there are also rumored to be visits planned with New Orleans and Philadelphia, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Those three are interesting suitors, since each got rid of a star player within the past year because of high contracts as much as age or injury (Thomas Jones, Deuce McAllister and Brian Westbrook). However, each of those teams could make the promise of at least a shot at L.T. being a starter or in the mix. With the Vikings, he would clearly be a second option to Adrian Peterson.
Tim Tebow can take heart even though his reported score of 22 on the 50-point Wonderlic test is below average for NFL QBs. The average score is 24, and the average of the QBs expected to start in 2010 is 28.5 on the test. But somebody else scored a 22 on the Wonderlic and did OK for himself – Brett Favre.
Some believe the Wonderlic score is overrated. Some mediocre QBs posted great scores – Ryan Fitzpatrick (48), Alex Smith (40) and Matt Leinart (35) – while some of the game's greats had dismal Wonderlic scores – Dan Marino (15), Jim Kelly (15) and Donovan McNabb (14).