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  • Ricky Williams needs to save up his money...

    Dolphins may ask Ricky for $8 million refund
    By Alex Marvez
    Staff Writer
    Posted July 27 2004

    In the past week, Ricky Williams has traveled from the Bahamas to Hawaii to Tokyo and back to Los Angeles on Monday after just a 24-hour stay overseas.

    Agent Leigh Steinberg said Williams' next stop today is Martha's Vineyard, with other destinations possibly to follow now that he is retiring from football.

    But Williams may want to curtail his extensive sightseeing because the Dolphins are expected to attempt recouping roughly $8 million that was paid to him if the tailback follows through on plans to leave the team.

    An NFL source said Monday that the restructured contract Williams agreed to with the Dolphins in 2002 allows the franchise to reclaim about $4.7 million paid to him the past two seasons through incentive clauses should he quit before the end of his contract in 2006. The Dolphins also would try recouping $3.3 million of the $8.8 million signing bonus Williams received from New Orleans after being the fifth player selected in the 1999 draft.

    The practical intent of recoupment provisions included in Williams' contract was to protect the Dolphins against a potential holdout. But the league source said they also are applicable if Williams retires before fulfilling the final three seasons remaining on the eight-year contract he signed as a rookie with New Orleans.

    The Dolphins, Steinberg and the NFL Players Association did not return phone calls Monday seeking comment on contract concerns.

    Williams' mother told the Dallas Morning News that she's saddened with her son's decision to retire from football but supports whatever he wants to do.

    "As a fan, I'm heartbroken," Sandy Williams said. "I think the majority of people think he's nuts. But I raised him not to be selfish but to look out for himself. And he took it to the limit. I'm happy for him because it's what he wants."

    She said the high expectations for the former Texas star created too much pressure.

    "Ricky almost quit football after that first year," she said. "There's no question Ricky got a cold-hearted taste of the NFL as a business right away in New Orleans, and it affected him. From that point on, he said he wouldn't be in the NFL long."

    Because of the large amount the Dolphins could try to recoup, there is the chance Williams would reconsider his decision to retire. Williams had yet to officially inform the NFL of his intention to retire Monday and the Dolphins have not placed him on their reserve/retired list.

    But all indications remain that Williams will walk away from football at 27, forcing the Dolphins to scramble to find a replacement for a player who rushed for 3,225 yards and 25 touchdowns the past two seasons.

    "He is very excited about exploring, traveling, maybe going back to school," Steinberg told The Associated Press after speaking Monday with Williams. "He is an American original. He is an example of the bright, gifted athlete who has turned away from this massive contract, endorsements, every conventional thing that society has to offer, to explore an alternative life."

    But whether financial considerations played a role in Williams' decision to retire remains unclear. Coach Dave Wannstedt said Williams told him Friday that he was leaving because he didn't feel he could make the commitment necessary to continue playing.

    However, an NFL source said Williams declined the Dolphins' offer of a contract extension earlier in the offseason because Steinberg thought he could get more money in the future.

    Another NFL source said Williams also may have felt compelled to continue playing had the Dolphins signed him to an extension in the offseason that included a lucrative signing bonus.

    Williams was to earn $3.74 million this season, all of which will be credited to the Dolphins in salary cap space should he retire.

    The Dolphins restructured Williams' contract in September 2002 because of concerns that the low base salaries in his original deal with New Orleans could become a sore point and a distraction. The new deal paid Williams for reaching rushing incentives and also pushed that total into his base salary for the following season.

    Williams collected $2.1 million in incentives in 2002 while rushing for an NFL-high 1,853 yards, which also increased his 2003 base salary to $2.63 million. Williams then earned another $560,000 in incentives during his 1,372-yard campaign in 2003.

    But Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, a close friend of Williams, believes the Dolphins were receiving a bargain. Brown ripped the Dolphins on Monday when asked whether he could understand whether the team was upset about Williams' decision to retire after trading two first-round draft choices to acquire him.

    "I don't care anything about what the Dolphins gave up," Brown told WSVN-TV (Channel 7). "They didn't give up anything. They didn't rework Ricky's contract. They took advantage of the contract he signed."

    Jim Brown and Mack Brown, who was Williams' coach at the University of Texas, both said they supported his decision to retire. Last Friday, Wannstedt asked Mack Brown and ex-Saints coach Mike Ditka to speak with Williams about leaving football.

    "Money never brings happiness," Jim Brown said. "If it did, every football player and rapper would be happy."

    Said Mack Brown in a statement: "Giving up something that you love to do is never an easy choice, but I respect Ricky for the thought he has put into this. This is something he has considered for a long time. He always told me he couldn't wait until the time came when he could come back to school and finish his degree. He has meant a lot to the game, and the game has done a lot for him."

  • #2
    Re: Ricky Williams needs to save up his money...

    Am I mistaken or was it Ricky Williams who misteriously showed up at NFL headquarters in New York a month or so ago, "just for a visit". Wasn't the NFL about to level a fine or suspension on him? I'm not hearing anything about this incident. Could this have been motivation for him to retire?
    Roman18 :helmet::helmet:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ricky Williams needs to save up his money...

      In the past week, Ricky Williams has traveled from the Bahamas to Hawaii to Tokyo and back to Los Angeles on Monday after just a 24-hour stay overseas.
      Sound like an episode of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".

      Was he in the company of Robin Leech?
      Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

      Comment

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      • Nick
        Ricky Williams coming back already?
        by Nick
        Dolphins | R. Williams Already Considering Comeback? - from www.KFFL.com
        Wed, 25 Aug 2004 19:53:20 -0700

        Ethan J. Skolnick and Alex Marvez, of the Sun-Sentinel, report former Miami Dolphins RB Ricky Williams called head coach Dave Wannstedt earlier this week and is considering a comeback in the future. It's believed Williams broached the subject of returning to the Dolphins if they met certain conditions including renegotiation of his contract. A return in 2004 would be unlikely unless Williams were to register a favorable appeal with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
        -08-26-2004, 06:54 AM
      • Nick
        Williams turns down offer to serve suspension, return in '05
        by Nick
        Williams turns down offer to serve suspension, return in '05



        MIAMI - Ricky Williams rejected a deal that would have allowed him to serve a four-game drug suspension this season and return to the NFL next year.

        "Ricky indicated to me that he is no longer interested in resuming his career at this time," Williams' lawyer, David Cornwell, said in a statement e-mailed to the Associated Press on Thursday.

        The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner needed to let the league know by Thursday so he could be moved from the retired list to the suspended list by the deadline. He would have served the suspension for the Miami Dolphins' final four games, starting Dec. 12 at Denver.

        "David Cornwell informed our office that Ricky Williams has declined to accept the terms of his reinstatement," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

        Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene wouldn't comment, saying the matter is between Williams and the NFL.

        Williams, 27, stunned his team by retiring shortly before Miami opened training camp in July. The Dolphins filed a lawsuit in federal court against the running back, seeking the $8.6 million an arbitrator ruled he owes the team for breaching his contract. Williams is fighting the decision.

        He is now enrolled in a 17-month course at the California College of Ayurveda in Grass Valley, Calif., studying holistic medicine.

        The talks to allow Williams back into the league involved a promise to return to the field next season and to re-enter the NFL drug program immediately, including being tested on a regular basis.

        "The NFL sought assurances that Ricky is indeed committed to playing," Cornwell said.

        Williams gave up the $5 million he would have earned this season, which would have been his sixth in the NFL, amid reports he faced suspension for substance abuse.

        He rushed for 3,225 yards in two seasons with the Dolphins, including a league-leading 1,853 yards in 2002. Miami acquired him from New Orleans after the 2001 season.

        But without Williams, the Dolphins have gone into a tailspin. They're 2-9 and will finish with a losing record for the first time since 1988.

        Williams has social-anxiety disorder and was a spokesman for an anti-depressant. He said marijuana helped him after he stopped using the anti-depressant....
        -12-04-2004, 10:15 AM
      • ZigZagRam
        SHOCKING: Ricky Williams Retires!
        by ZigZagRam
        Pre-camp decision stuns Dolphins

        ESPN.com news services
        Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has told the team he plans to retire after just five NFL seasons, The Miami Herald reported on its Web site early Sunday morning.

        "He wants to get on with his life, wants to move on to bigger and better things," Herald reporter and ESPN commentator Dan Le Betard told SportsCenter.

        According to the Herald's report, Williams wants to travel the world and is tired of the demands and restraints of a professional football career.

        "I just don't want to be in this business anymore," Williams told the paper. "I was never strong enough to not play football, but I'm strong enough now. I've considered everything about this. Everyone has thrown every possible scenario at me about why I shouldn't do this, but they're in denial. I'm happy with my decision.

        "I'm finally free. I can't remember ever being this happy."

        According to Le Batard, the Dolphins are stunned by the news and members of the organization are still trying to talk Williams out of his decision, one the Herald says should be finalized this week when Williams faxes his retirement papers to the league.

        Williams was scheduled to make $3.7 million in each of the 2004 and '05 seasons, and $11.25 million in 2006, ESPN.com's John Clayton reported.

        Last season, Williams rushed for 1,372 yards on 392 carries, averaging 3.5 yards. He has rushed for 1,000 or more yards in four of his five NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints and the Dolphins, tallying 6,354 for his career. Williams also had 1,806 receiving yards on 229 catches.

        Williams reportedly tested positive for marijuana on Dec. 10, 2003, and faced a fine of at least $650,000 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy for the second time.

        The Saints traded virtually their 1999 entire draft to move up to No. 5 overall to take Williams, a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Texas.
        -07-24-2004, 11:30 PM
      • Nick
        Esquire writer: Call made Ricky retire
        by Nick
        Esquire writer: Call made Ricky retire
        By Harvey Fialkov
        Staff writer
        Posted November 6 2004

        The author of this month's Esquire magazine piece on Ricky Williams believes if Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt and the estranged running back handled the pivotal phone call in July differently, Williams wouldn't have retired.

        Esquire Staff Writer Chris Jones, who admittedly smoked marijuana with Williams a "few times" during his eight-day stay in a backpacker's commune in Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia in early September, said in the article that "even in the middle of dialing [Wannstedt], Ricky had no real intention of quitting."

        "Ricky said he was sort of looking for someone to talk to," said Jones, 30, via phone call from Quebec. "If both Ricky and Wannstedt were 100 percent honest, they'd both say they could've done something different."

        Jones said Williams' sudden decision to quit at 27 was prompted by a letter from the NFL informing him that he had failed his third drug test and would be fined $750,000 and forced to sit out the first four games. Williams was also unhappy about being fined $100,000 by the Dolphins for missing a few offseason workouts.

        While Wannstedt has continually refrained from commenting on the ongoing Williams case, which is in litigation, a source said Wannstedt had "pleaded with Ricky to think about it and not rush into any hasty decision."

        Jones wrote in his 6,000-word article that chronicled Williams' journey across several continents -- in which at times he lived in a tent -- that the elusive tailback didn't buy Wannstedt's sales pitch in which he told him, "If you were my son, I'd tell you that you should keep playing football."

        "He was looking for something to pull him back in, for someone to give him one good reason," Jones wrote in the article. "Sure, a little more money would have helped, but a few kind words might have been enough. He wanted to feel the love. But then he heard Wannstedt's gum-chomping bark, and Ricky flat lost his hold on things."

        "I should have been man enough to have a conversation with Dave before all this happened," Williams told Jones. "I got scared and I just told him I was retiring. It just came out."

        Jones said Williams was planning to travel abroad until next summer before attempting a comeback, but the Dolphins' favorable decision by an arbitrator which ruled Williams should return $8.6 million to the team for breach of contact "accelerated" his desire to seek immediate reinstatement.

        The NFL refused to comment on whether the article would affect its decision to approve Williams' recent application for reinstatement if he agrees to comply with the league's drug program.

        Phone calls to Williams'...
        -11-06-2004, 10:32 AM
      • Nick
        Ricky Williams loses appeal and will be suspended for one year
        by Nick
        Dolphins | Williams loses appeal
        Tue, 25 Apr 2006 16:10:31 -0700

        Jason Cole, of the Miami Herald, reports Miami Dolphins RB Ricky Williams lost his appeal of a fourth violation of the NFL substance-abuse policy and will be suspended for one year, according to a source. Williams was informed by the NFL Tuesday, April 25. Williams will now miss the entire 2006 season. He can apply for reinstatement after that.
        -04-25-2006, 04:21 PM
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