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Ricky Williams fate won't be decided til after draft.


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Ricky Williams decision likely after draft

By Alex Marvez

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted April 19 2007

Ricky Williams is six days from being eligible for reinstatement to the NFL, but the suspended running back may have to wait until after the draft April 28-29 before being able to officially rejoin the Dolphins.

Williams was banned from the NFL on April 25, 2006 after losing an appeal of a fourth failed drug test. Agent Leigh Steinberg said Wednesday that Williams has sent a letter asking for reinstatement to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and is undergoing regular drug testing under the NFL's auspices.

Under the NFL's substance-abuse policy, Williams would continue getting tested after reinstatement at a frequency determined by the league's medical advisor.

"He's been passing the tests steadily, and I don't expect any problem," Steinberg said.

But immediate reinstatement is unlikely because Williams' petition is subject to a review process that includes evaluation of his medical records and substance-abuse history. Williams has tested positive for marijuana three times since 2002, but his fourth failed test was for another substance.

Goodell, who recently implemented a stricter player conduct policy, has 60 days to decide Williams' status.

While Dolphins coach Cam Cameron and General Manager Randy Mueller have refused comment on Williams' future, the club has done little to address the running-back position even after the free-agent losses of 2006 backups Sammy Morris (New England) and Travis Minor (St. Louis). The Dolphins are likely to address more pressing need areas early in the draft.

Williams and starter Ronnie Brown formed an effective rushing combination in 2005, combining for 1,650 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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would not be surprised to see Ricky follow Quincy right to the AFL

I think this could happen - but I gotta believe Ricky is far too talented to not find a starting job for good pay (not guarenteed). If Ricky was cut tomorrow I gotta think GB and Buf would be good landing spots for him.

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would not be surprised to see Ricky follow Quincy right to the AFL

Problem is, he is a RB. So they do not get much action. And if he plays RB, he would also have to play defense. Unless he switches to WR and becomes the teams offensive specialist.

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ST. LOUIS (April 19, 2007) -- Ricky Williams, who has applied for reinstatement in the NFL after a one-year suspension for substance abuse, could find a home with the St. Louis Rams.

Coach Scott Linehan, the offensive coordinator when Williams played for the Miami Dolphins in 2005, said he would consider adding Williams to the roster as a backup. The Rams need depth behind Steven Jackson.

"He's proven himself with me," Linehan said. "I know there would be a certain amount of risk involved based on that, but I would just because he deserves that based on what he was able to do."

Williams, who will turn 30 in May, played in Canada last year and is eligible for reinstatement after April 27. Earlier this month Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, sent a letter asking that he be allowed to return to the Dolphins.

If that request was granted, the Rams would have to work out a trade with Miami.

Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas, rushed for 1,853 and 1,372 yards in 2002 and '03 with the Dolphins before retiring shortly before training camp in 2004. He returned in 2005 as the backup to rookie Ronnie Brown, rushing for 743 yards and a 4.4-yard average.

Linehan was impressed with Williams' remorse upon returning.

"He came back and stood in front of teammates who still wanted a piece of him from the year before," Linehan said. "He basically took all of the responsibility for what he did and he didn't make any excuses. He said 'I'm sorry.' "

Linehan said he needed to know more about the details of Williams' latest suspension, the fourth of his career, before going further. Williams has gained 7,097 yards on 1,757 carries with 47 touchdowns during his career.

"I would have to look into it a little bit more," he said. "But based on how he played and the kind of person he was to be around, I would certainly consider it, and I'd fight for him."

Linehan should have kept his mouth shut and let the Dolphins release him.

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