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  Waiving Ricky Would be a Dumb Move
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has reinstated RB Ricky Williams after an 18 month suspension due to repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.


Per a statement released by the NFL on Wednesday, “Ricky Williams was notified this morning by Commissioner Goodell that he has been reinstated as an NFL player. Williams can begin attending team meetings and practicing immediately, but will not be eligible to play in games until Week 12 when the Dolphins play at Pittsburgh (Monday night, November 26). The Dolphins will receive a roster exemption for Williams for up to two weeks when he begins practicing, starting no later than Monday.”


This means that the Dolphins have two weeks to decide whether or not to activate him to the 53 man roster, or waive him outright.


This decision shouldn’t take Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller two seconds.


Guys, set your emotions aside and do the right thing for the Miami Dolphins.


Keep him.




Now, I am not suggesting another long term marriage. Clearly, Ricky Williams does not fit the profile that Cameron and Mueller look for in a player. And Dolfans, repeatedly burned by Ricky’s ever smoldering bong, shouldn’t have an ounce of faith in him any longer.


He isn’t worth your investment.


Nevertheless, the Dolphins have no choice but to keep him at least through the end of the season. They mustn’t allow Williams to get away without receiving some sort of compensation in return. Worse, they can’t allow him the freedom to choose a divisional rival (like the RB-needy Patriots) as his new home if indeed his remaining days as a Dolphin are short.


Ricky Williams in the AFC East is not (not!) in Miami’s best interest.


Neither is eschewing a draft pick, maybe two.


In the meantime, no one should be under the illusion that Williams can be a real difference maker on offense this season. There just isn’t enough time left for him to get into football shape and learn enough of the offense to make a meaningful contribution, aside from spelling starter Jesse Chatman.


Where Ricky can really help now is on special teams, where the need is immediate and beyond desperate.


They need him to return kicks in lieu of Chatman, who is being overworked, and they can use Ricky to cover kicks. In the 2002 Pro Bowl, Ricky earned MVP honors in part due to his contributions on special teams where he even forced a fumble. 


Ted Ginn, Jr. and Ricky Williams would be the best tandem of kick returners in the NFL. Tell me, which guy would you take your chances with?


To those of you who want nothing to do with Williams under any circumstances, please get a grip. Ricky’s problem has never been in the locker room or on the field. By every account, from teammates and coaches, he has always been a good team player.


So if you care about the future of the Miami Dolphins, you must be in favor of Ricky in the present tense.


And I do mean the VERY present tense.


Look, I understand that the risk I am taking here is one of hypocrisy. After all, yours truly has been a pretty harsh critic of He Who Sleeps and Smokes in Tents.


But I have no illusions about the state of the Dolphin universe: the 42 year old franchise is at an all-time low.


And people, the only way out of the wilderness is through the draft. Every pick is precious, even a mid-rounder or whatever Mueller can get for Ricky if he so chooses.


And really, when you’re 0-9, what in the world do the Dolphins have to lose?


Drafting position? Puh-leese. If going 0-16 earns the top overall pick, let someone else have it. Better to go 1-15 or 2-14 than suffer the ignominy of an imperfect season. 


No other argument can even be remotely justified. Therefore, the correct conclusion is that the Dolphins have absolutely nothing to lose.


Unless, of course, they decide to waive him.


They’d lose at least one draft pick, which keeps the future further away.


They’d likely lose Ricky to the hated Patriots, which would mean that the Dolphin defense will have to try and tackle him twice a year.


Not a pleasant prospect.


And, forgive me for even suggesting this, if Ricky has somehow managed to get his personal life in reasonable order, which I doubt, they’d be losing his services for which the team paid dearly. Any way you slice it, Ricky is still worth more to the Dolphins as a Dolphin than in the meager compensation they’d receive in a trade.


Finally, and quite frankly, Cameron and Mueller would lose credibility as smart football men. Some believe that erosion has already begun.


So if you thought passing on Brady Quinn was “a dumb move”, waiving Ricky would be the dumbest.


Unless, of course, you are a Patriots fan.

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