Could Ricky Williams be rethinking his retirement from the NFL?
According to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the ex-running back has "reached out" to Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt and is contemplating a
return to the NFL.
Williams later told The Miami Herald that he has no plans to return to the team anytime soon despite reports that he is coming back. Williams hasn't
ruled out a return, but has stated that "it's not in my best interests to play football right now."
Citing several NFL sources, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday that Williams and Wannstedt recently talked over the phone. Williams
broached the subject of returning and discussed several conditions needed to get him to come out of retirement, including the renegotiation of his
"Yeah, it's true that I called them," Williams told The Miami Herald. "You need to understand that I didn't call them to see if I could come back. I
was just causing a conversation to happen.
"They sent me the letter and (Steinberg) told me it's in my best interests to call them."
Williams' return would be hindered by the league's substance abuse policy. The former Heisman winner has acknowledged testing positive for marijuana
three times and league officials have said his filing for retirement counts as a fourth failed test, which would result in a year's suspension.
If he decides to return next year, he would face a four-game suspension - the penalty for three failed tests. An NFL source said that Williams would
have to cross "major hurdles" before he could play (including an appeal to commissioner Paul Tagliabue for reinstatement after filing his retirement
Last week the Dolphins reportedly asked Williams to return $8.6 million because of his sudden retirement.
A source close to the situation said Williams had received a letter from the team asking for the money that was included in various bonuses, including
the signing bonus he received when he originally was drafted by the New Orleans Saints. The Dolphins had been hinting that they would ask for the
money but only recently made the request formal in a letter to the player and his agent, Leigh Steinberg.
Williams rushed for 3,225 yards in two seasons with Miami after being obtained in a trade with New Orleans.