Archive for Friday, December 3, 2004

Williams rejects NFL deal

Ex-Dolphins running back remains retired

December 3, 2004

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— This could be it for Ricky Williams. He just doesn't want to play football.

The 2002 NFL rushing champion rejected a deal to serve a four-game drug suspension this season and return to the field next year. He'll stay retired instead, and his lawyer, David Cornwell, doesn't believe Williams will play again.

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

The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner needed to let the league know his decision 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.

"Ricky Williams has declined to accept the terms of his reinstatement," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Those terms included a promise Williams would play next season and re-enter the NFL drug program immediately. He would have been tested on a regular basis.

"The NFL sought assurances that Ricky is indeed committed to playing," said Cornwell, who would not disclose exactly why Williams decided against the deal.

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

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