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Updated: September 3rd, 2011 2:36pm
Kevin Williams on four-game fine: 'Who wants to work for free?'

Kevin Williams on four-game fine: 'Who wants to work for free?'

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is pleased the NFL reduced his suspension from four to two games, but he finds it hard to swallow that he still will have to give up four game checks.

"Two games, of course, is better than four, but to still get a four-game fine is unbelievable," Williams told 1500ESPN.com on Saturday. "I can't believe it. We were offered that deal (by the NFL) before and we turned it down."

Williams was suspended and fined on Friday by the league, bringing an end to the long-running StarCaps supplement case that began in December 2008 and spent three years being fought in the courts.

Williams' suspension started on Saturday. He will be eligible to return to the Vikings' active roster on Sept. 19, following the team's Sept. 18 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Williams stands to lose $1,411,764 for the four game checks. That's 4/17ths of his $6 million base salary for 2011. In 2008, his base salary was $1 million, so that means he will end up paying six times as much as he would have in that season.

That fine will be on top of the legal costs that Williams incurred. That figure has been reported at around $1 million.

"I'm not even sure," of the figure, Williams said. "I can't even remember how much we paid to be exact. ... But it was worth the fight, because it's going to help future guys out in a similar situations."

Williams said his agent, Tom Condon, is looking into the situation when asked if there was a possibility he could appeal to the NFL to fine him based on his salary from 2008 instead of 2011.

"At the end of the day, you can say from the outside that they cut us a break, but you look close, they're not putting that out there for the public to see that we're still going to get fined four games," he said. "Who wants to work for free?"

Williams, 30, will be replaced by Letroy Guion at defensive tackle for the Vikings' regular-season opener on Sept. 11 at San Diego and their home opener the following Sunday. The two games in which Williams would play for free would be Sept. 25 against Detroit and Oct. 2 at Kansas City.

There was some thought that the suspension wasn't a big deal because Williams has been dealing with plantar fasciitis and would have missed the first two games anyway. But the six-time Pro Bowl selection said that wouldn't have been the case.

The Vikings were off Friday when the NFL informed the team that Williams and all other players involved in the StarCaps case had been suspended. The NFL also put out a statement, but Williams was not officially informed by the league until he received a FedEx on Saturday.

"I was calling around after hearing from all you guys (reporters) trying to get some clarification," he said. "You decide to suspend guys and you just release a statement. I guess they informed the teams. I finally got in touch with (coach Leslie) Frazier."

Kevin Williams and his then-teammate and fellow defensive lineman, Pat Williams, were among several players who tested positive for bumetanide, which is a banned diuretic that was contained in a supplement known as StarCaps. The issue was that bumetanide was not listed as being in the product.

This landed the case in court and stopped the suspensions from being imposed. In April, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an order denying a review of the appeals court decision that had sided with the NFL.

"I'd do it again," Williams said of putting up the legal fight. "I still think those guys are wrong, but only one side gets punished."

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
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