Ricky Williams, the enigmatic running back who spent the majority of his 11-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, is officially retiring from football. No, really, for real this time. After ditching the Dolphins last year, Williams signed a two-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens but has decided to forgo the final year left on that contract.
Update: This probably doesn't deserve its own post, but, hey, looks like Chad Pennington's NFL career is over too.
"The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life," Williams said in the statement.
"I love the game and leave it feeling fulfilled, proud, in great health and excited about the future."
Williams was picked fifth overall in the 1999 draft by the New Orleans Saints, where he spent his first three years. But he didn't reach his full NFL potential until he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. He led the NFL in rushing yards during the 2002 season with 1,853 yards and followed that in 2003 with 1,372. Those remain the two best rushing seasons for any Dolphins back in the team's entire history.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Support Our Journalism
Though, Williams surprisingly announced his retirement from football ahead of the 2004 season. He chose retirement instead of facing repercussions for failing multiple marijuana tests.
He returned to the Dolphins in 2005 only to fail a fourth drug test and played his 2006 season in the Canadian Football League. Williams once again returned to the Dolphins in 2007. In 2009, he was again the team's top rusher and remained in Miami until the end of 2010.
Diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, avoidance disorder, and borderline personality disorder, Williams was noted for his shy behavior and at one point even conducted post-game interviews with his helmet on. Williams had claimed that marijuana was a preferable way to treat his conditions than other medicines, but has since claimed to have stopped using the drug.