New Orleans Saints guard Jamar Nesbit left to debate merits of serving suspension

by Brian Allee-Walsh, The Times-Picayune

Wednesday September 16, 2009, 9:07 PM

New Orleans Saints guard Jamar Nesbit did not appeal his suspension for testing positive for bumetanide. He lost his starting job and approximately $500,000 in wages and bonuses.

New Orleans Saints guard Jamar Nesbit sat at his locker Wednesday, feeling happy for teammates Charles Grant and Will Smith, while debating the merits of a decision that he made a year ago.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Tuesday that Grant and Smith will not have to begin their four-game suspensions for using a banned substance bumetanide until a Minnesota state court resolves a suit against the NFL by Minnesota defensive linemen Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, who face similar suspensions for testing positive for the same banned substance.

The Williams’ court case is not expected to be heard until after the season, meaning Grant and Smith will likely be able to play out the full schedule.

Nesbit, too, tested positive for bumetanide a year ago, but he decided not to appeal his four-game suspension. That suspension cost him his starting job and approximately $500,000 in wages and bonuses as a result of using the over-the-counter diuretic.

Nesbit is suing the manufacturer in an attempt to recoup lost wages and compensation for damage to his reputation, claiming bumetanide was not listed as an ingredient in the pill. No court date has been assigned.

“I’ve been asked if I have any regrets, ” Nesbit said. “I was given advice from a variety of sources about how to handle the situation and how to go forth with the process, and nobody had a crystal ball and knew how this was going to turn out.

“I know from my position, all of a sudden people are concerned with fairness, so I’m sitting on the outside looking for a little fairness. Hey look, if (Smith and Grant) can play throughout the rest of the season, then congratulations to them, and our ’09 Saints are going to be a lot better for having those two able to play.”

Smith and Grant thanked Goodell, calling his decision that allows them to play both “fair” and “right.”

“It was a long process, ” Smith said. “It was kind of like we were on trial, but at the end of the day we’re happy with the decision that the commissioner has made. I feel as if we can move on from this and focus on the Philadelphia Eagles this week.”

Grant and Smith also thanked the NFL Players Association and team officials for their unwavering support since the league handed down the suspensions in early December.

“Our main focus right now is producing . . . and to be the premier (defensive) bookends that people consider us to be in this league, ” Grant said.

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