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New Orleans Saints have tough roster decision once Will Smith returns

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Saints DE Will Smith (Source:

New Orleans Saints starting defensive end Will Smith was suspended by the NFL for the first two games of the 2011 season for his involvement with the weight loss supplement StarCaps.

Smith along with fellow team mates Deuce McAllister, Charles Grant, and Jamar Nesbit all tested positive in 2008 for Bumetanide, a banned diuretic which can be used to mask steroids.

Smith and the other players did not realize StarCaps contained the banned substance and did check with the league, who cleared the supplement, before ingesting a single pill to help with weight control.

In the end the though the NFL stuck with it’s mantra that all players, all the time, are 100% responsible for what they put in their bodies and they aggressively pursued punishment in an effort to not challenge the “status quo”.

The suspension of all the guilty parties — including Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams — were postponed by an appeal on the Williams behalf in a Minnesota Federal Court.

During the lockout news was quietly released that the appeal was overturned and the court ruled in favor of the NFL after finding no “legal” way to block the suspensions.

Smith started the season on the reserve/suspended list which did not count him towards the Saints 53-man roster maximum that all teams must operate under. Balancing the active roster players is a fine art in today’s NFL.

Once Smith is added back onto the roster the New Orleans Saints must cut another player to clear room, leaving them with a very tough roster decision that they must make in the next several days.

Currently the Saints are carrying two kickers, two fullbacks, and six wide receivers — and it would seem at first glance that these positions are the most obvious choice to reduce and clear the room needed for Smith.

Defensive tackle is also a bit crowded with Sedrick Ellis, Aubrayo Franklin, Shaun Rogers, Mitch King, and Tom Johnson. Candidates to be cut there could be King or Johnson, but they are both really good young players with potentially bright futures.

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