Posted: 9:55 am Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
By Post Staff
The Offseason Circle of Life is complete for Ricky Williams.
Five months after saying it was “time to move on” from the Dolphins and offering highly-critical comments about the Dolphins’ organization and Tony Sparano’s “micromanaging” coaching style, Williams has pulled a complete 180 and now says he wants to return to Miami for the 2011 season.
Williams, who turned 34 last month, is an unrestricted free agent for the first time since he entered the league in 1999. The Dolphins already drafted one replacement in running back Daniel Thomas, and will be looking for a second running back after the lockout. Williams and Ronnie Brown aren’t sure if they are included in the Dolphins’ plans for next season.
“I’d love nothing more than to finish my career winning a Super Bowl with the Dolphins,” Williams wrote last night on his Twitter account. “But that’s gonna take some cooperation from others.”
As Williams said, the Dolphins haven’t been showing much interest so far in re-signing him, even though he averaged a productive 4.2 yards per carry in 2010. Hopefully Williams understands that during the lockout, general manager Jeff Ireland isn’t allowed to conduct contract negotiations with Williams’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
But how did we reach this point? Here’s a timeline of Williams’ comments this offseason:
The day after the season-ending loss at New England, Williams said “It seems like now is time to move on. I was drafted in 1999, and this is the first time I’ve been a free agent. I’m excited to see what happens.”
He said playing for the Dolphins under Sparano is “not a great fit for me” and was critical of Sparano’s coaching style, the team’s losing culture and of teammates Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne. Williams later apologized for the remarks.
“It was an experience for me, and I learned a lot about myself and I got better as a football player, but at the same time, I didn’t enjoy it,” he said. “For me it’s about playing football, it’s about having a good time and it’s about working hard.”
After two months of cooling off, Williams began to warm up to the idea of returning to Miami, but still maintained that “It’s exciting to finally be a free agent.”
“My attitude is: wherever it is (I play), I will thoroughly enjoy, learn and grow from it,” Williams said. “Life is just a bunch of lessons. Successes are like grades. I had to repeat the Dolphin grade several times ;-) Now its retake it for fun, or move on to another lesson. I’m blessed to have the choice.”
A month later, Williams said he would be open to returning to the Dolphins, but only for the right price.
“I think, yeah, if the Dolphins really want me to stay and make a fair offer, it would be hard for me to turn it down,” Williams said. “But I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”
The transformation is complete. Williams now says he wants to finish his career by winning a Super Bowl in Miami.