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V. Barbarino

Williams set to return to the fish?

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MIAMI -- Maybe Ricky Williams is tired of traveling. Maybe he has run out of books to read. Or maybe he doesn't want to pay the $8.6 million he owes the Miami Dolphins for breach of contract.

Whatever the reason, Williams wants to rejoin the Dolphins and has asked the NFL how soon he can return, his agent said Tuesday.

It's unclear whether the 2002 NFL rushing champion must serve a suspension the rest of this season for repeated violations of the league drug program. He has asked the league for a hearing to clarify his status, but no date has been set.

A Dolphins source speaking on condition of anonymity said the team's understanding is that Williams can't play this year because of the violations.

Williams left the Dolphins reeling when he retired just before training camp in late July, and they're off to an 0-4 start, their worst since 1966. His agent, Leigh Steinberg, declined to discuss Williams' change of heart.

"All I can tell you is that Ricky has asked me to explore and to try to facilitate his return," Steinberg said. "He's excited and in good shape and misses football."

One likely factor for Williams' reversal: On Sept. 24, an arbitrator ordered him to repay more than $8.6 million to the team for breaching his contract.

Steinberg and the Dolphins declined to say whether there have been recent conversations between the two parties.

"This is an issue between the player, his representative and the league," Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman said. "Accordingly, we don't have a comment on the matter."

Last week, coach Dave Wannstedt said he hadn't talked to Williams in about a month.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment on the situation.

Since retiring, Williams has traveled to Asia and Australia, but Steinberg said he's now in the United States.

"He's in excellent shape," Steinberg said. "He has been working out regularly and looks great."

Williams and the Dolphins traded long-distance barbs in the days after he quit. But the Dolphins' poor start would likely make them more inclined to take him back.

The 27-year-old running back has given many reasons for retiring. He expressed a desire to travel, read and continue smoking marijuana. He said he was unhappy about his contract, a workload he considered excessive and Miami's new offensive coordinator Chris Foerster.

He acknowledged testing positive for marijuana three times. Under league rules, a player in the NFL's drug program faces suspension if he returns in the calendar year after he announces his retirement. If he returns after a year, he faces a lesser suspension.

The Dolphins might be headed toward their first losing season since 1988. They have scored only two touchdowns in four games without Williams, who rushed for 3,225 in two seasons after being obtained in a trade with New Orleans.

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Guest trancelator

trade him for draft picks

Yup, trade him. Two draft picks for him and then sign the Edge. It would be stupid to get nothing for him if he were to fail another drug test. Besides, that locker room hates him now.

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Guest durrtylexx

trade him for draft picks

Yup, trade him. Two draft picks for him and then sign the Edge. It would be stupid to get nothing for him if he were to fail another drug test. Besides, that locker room hates him now.

the fans hate him also...deserter....we dont want him...its time to clean house...we should trade some of our defense, while they're still worth something..I hate to say it but we should trade Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor..Time to shread the team and focus on the future..We're so far away from a Superbowl it's not even funny..

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Guest trancelator

I don't agree, Alex. Next year, Boston, Chambers and Booker will be an awesome wr corps. If they can land the Edge (who wants to come to Miami), they'll just need to focus on the line and qb. Not an easy task but with a solid choice at coach, they'll be fine. With a trade of Ricky for picks plus high picks in each round from this year's record, they can make a run.

The only person they should get rid of on defense is Madison. I think Will Poole can come in to take his place and do well. When a defense gives up 10, 9, 13 and 10 points the first four weeks, you don't clean house. Just look at the stupidity of TB. They have holes on both sides of the ball.

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I don't agree, Alex. Next year, Boston, Chambers and Booker will be an awesome wr corps. If they can land the Edge (who wants to come to Miami), they'll just need to focus on the line and qb. Not an easy task but with a solid choice at coach, they'll be fine. With a trade of Ricky for picks plus high picks in each round from this year's record, they can make a run.

The only person they should get rid of on defense is Madison. I think Will Poole can come in to take his place and do well. When a defense gives up 10, 9, 13 and 10 points the first four weeks, you don't clean house. Just look at the stupidity of TB. They have holes on both sides of the ball.

Plus if the offense would do it's job then the defense wouldn't be out on the field most of the game.

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Guest LeVeL

Yup, trade him. Two draft picks for him and then sign the Edge..

Whos the Edge can you refresh my memory??

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Guest LeVeL

Eggerrin James from the Colts. they are prob going to let him go next year.

Edgerin is a great running back but he has too many injuries...for my money I would go after Fred Taylor from the Jags. But who knows either of the two are great players.

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Guest siuol_leahcim

i am willing to bet that all this hatred against ricky would end after a couple 100+ yard games. The reason people are so pissed at him for having left is because he is irreplacable. If we had a chance to get him back and have him play for us, I wouldn't want to see the team trade him. Yeah Edge is good, but he's not as good as Ricky.

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Guest trancelator

i am willing to bet that all this hatred against ricky would end after a couple 100+ yard games. The reason people are so pissed at him for having left is because he is irreplacable. If we had a chance to get him back and have him play for us, I wouldn't want to see the team trade him. Yeah Edge is good, but he's not as good as Ricky.

The Edge not being as good is true but he will be a hot commodity in free agency.

The reason I wouldn't want Williams on the team is b/c (like JMT said) he is a liability with his weed situation. He is already suspended a year for it and one more strike and he's either suspended indefinitely or for life (don't know which). Could you imagine the criticism the team would face if they took him back and that happened??!! They would be viewed as royally stupid.

Let's face it, he is gone anyway. Nobody in that locker room wants him. Bring the Edge and at least one first rounder for Williams so they can build the line.

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Guest siuol_leahcim

They would be viewed as royally stupid.

They already are being viewed as royally stupid. I understand what you mean though. No one wants to have a loose cannon on their team. Add to that the sense of betrayal that they must feel. Although James has showed interest in the Dolphins, I don't think the Colts will allow him to get away that easily especially if their season continues on its successful path.

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Guest JMT

but they might not be able to afford him with the cap. they would rather keep manning and harrison locked down. mungro and the other RB scrub have proved they can be good in james' spot.

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Guest trancelator

but they might not be able to afford him with the cap. they would rather keep manning and harrison locked down. mungro and the other RB scrub have proved they can be good in james' spot.

Yup, plus James is loyal to his Immokalee roots (it's way outside of Naples). If no one has ever been there, it is like a third world country (not joking at all). My high school had to play them several times and it's amazing how a place like that can exist in the U.S.

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