Deuce still on the loose

By Mike Triplett
Updated: August 18, 2009

NEW ORLEANS — Former Saints tailback Deuce McAllister remains optimistic about his chances of catching on with another NFL team, though he admits that several factors are working against him.

McAllister, 30, said Monday he is healthy enough to pass a physical, and his agents have been in contact with some teams. But the biggest hurdle he faces is the four-game suspension he’s scheduled to serve at the beginning of the season.

“It’s kind of tough to get with a team knowing you won’t be there for the first four games. That’s kind of tough to deal with on my end,” said McAllister, who tested positive for a banned diuretic last summer, along with three Saints teammates in the high-profile StarCaps case.

McAllister, however, will be credited for serving the four-game suspension even if he’s not on a roster during those first four weeks.

So he could catch on with a team looking for help after those four weeks.

“For now it’s just watching what’s going on around the league as far as running back situations,” said McAllister, who has primarily been working out at Athlete’s Performance in Pensacola, Fla. “I feel full-go.”

“The biggest thing is just getting in football shape.”

As much as he misses playing in the NFL, though, McAllister admitted that he hasn’t been longing for the training camp experience.

“I don’t miss that at all,” said McAllister, who in 2007 suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. “I still talk to some of the guys, and I wish them all the luck in the world. I know what they’re going through.”

McAllister also spent a couple of weeks working out at his alma mater in Oxford, Miss., this summer. On Monday, he was back in Jackson, Miss., for a ground-breaking ceremony introducing the restaurant and entertainment center, Mac & Bones, that he is opening along with NBA player Tracy McGrady.

McAllister and McGrady have known each other for about three years, he said, through a mutual friend and business partner. The sports-themed restaurant and miniature golf course are scheduled to open in October.