Ricky Williams’ NFL career appears over

Ricky Williams’ NFL career appears over

Tim Reynolds THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIAMI — This could be it for Ricky Williams, who still doesn’t want to play ball.

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.

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.

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

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

Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2004

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