posted on Sep, 24 2004 @ 04:33 PM
Former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams was ordered Friday to repay the team more than $8.6 million for breaching his contract when he
suddenly quit before training camp.
Arbitrator Richard Bloch ruled Friday that Williams must repay $8,616,353 in bonus money under the contract he left behind when he shocked the
Dolphins and their fans with his sudden retirement. The contract ran through 2007.
"We are pleased that Mr. Bloch has confirmed that Ricky Williams breached his contract with the Dolphins and is required to repay compensation," NFL
senior vice president/general counsel Dennis Curran told The Associated Press.
"This decision is consistent with many other cases that have affirmed the right of NFL clubs and players to negotiate compensation based on the
player's fulfillment of the contract," Curran said.
The Dolphins declined comment Friday, saying they only discuss players on their roster.
Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, was out of the country, his office said. He didn't immediately return a phone message left Friday. The Dolphins had
filed a grievance against Williams, asking an arbitrator to uphold their contractual right to recover the money paid to him between the signing bonus
and incentives. Before the grievance, the Dolphins mailed a letter to Williams asking him to report or pay the money back.
Williams also called the team, telling them he would come back if he received a new contract. The Dolphins declined that request. Williams has given
many reasons why he called Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt days before workouts were to begin in July to tell him he was quitting. In various newspaper
reports, Williams has expressed displeasure with his contract, an excessive workload and new offensive coordinator Chris Foerster.
It was not immediately known what would happen if Williams declared bankruptcy or decided to return to the team. But even if the 27-year-old Williams
wanted to return, he faces a suspension for the entire 2004 season for violating the NFL drug policy. He has acknowledged testing positive for
marijuana three times.