Will Smith suspension official

The NFL just made the official announcement that New Orleans defensive end Will Smith has been suspended for the first two games of this season.

He’s getting the same deal as Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who also tested positive for the banned substance StarCaps in 2008. The NFL originally planned to suspend all players involved for four games. But the case was tied up in the legal system for more than two years and the suspension was reduced to two games.

Williams and Smith each will miss an additional two game checks. In Smith’s case, he is scheduled to make $352,941 per game, so the total for four games will come to $1,411,764.

Although the Saints have known for a long time that a Smith suspension was possible, the timing isn’t great. The Saints cut Alex Brown, last year’s other starting defensive end, earlier this week and they have to play their season opener Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Brown’s departure and Smith’s suspension mean it’s almost certain first-round pick Cameron Jordan will start at one defensive end spot. But there’s not another clear-cut favorite for the other job. Unless the Saints bring in a veteran from somewhere else, the choices are Jeff Charleston, Turk McBride and Junior Galette.