September 6, 2009

Grant, Smith still on 53-man roster

The Minnesota court case upon which the Starcaps suspensions wait is the reason why the Saints still have starting defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant on the 53-man regular season roster.

The federal appeals court case has yet to rule on a lawsuit filed by Minnesota players Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, who are similarly suspended by the league for use last offseason of bumatenide, a league-banned substance found in an league-approved product called Starcaps.

The Minnesota players' lawsuit extends to all players who were also suspended: Grant, Smith and former Saint RB Deuce McAllister.

The league may decide to stop waiting on the pending legislation and declare Grant and Smith suspended for week one during this week. In that case, the Saints will have two roster spots open, one of which could be used to re-sign DE Paul Spicer, cut in Saturday's 53-man ax.

Spicer was the biggest surprise from Saturday's cuts, considering that he could start the first four games with the suspensions active.

Grant and Smith have put off the suspension for nearly a year now. G Jamar Nesbit was delivered the same suspension last season and served it in weeks four through seven.

The league has already activated the suspension on kicker Garrett Hartley for four games for taking a banned prescription stimulant this offseason. Hartley has been placed on the suspended list and does not count against the 53-man squad.

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