Agent says Williams applies for reinstatement to NFL

Updated: October 1, 2007, 6:40 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Suspended running back Ricky Williams applied for NFL reinstatement Monday, his agent said.

"Ricky is extremely excited about the prospect of playing in the NFL again and hopeful for a positive response," his agent Leigh Steinberg said.

He hasn't taken the wear and tear on his body in the last couple years. He's a physical specimen and he's got the potential to be among the league leaders in rushing.

Leigh Steinberg

Williams has played in only 12 NFL games since the start of the 2004 season, but rushed for 3,225 yards in 2002-03. His current suspension began in April 2006 after he violated the league's drug policy for the fourth time. He tested positive for marijuana this April, again delaying his return.

Under the league's substance abuse program, when a player applies for reinstatement the doctors have up to 45 days to submit their report and recommendation to the commissioner. He then has up to 15 days to make a decision. That means the process could take up to 60 days from the day Williams applies to be reinstated.

Williams remains under contract with Miami, where he won the NFL rushing title in 2002. But new coach Cam Cameron has not indicated whether he wants Williams to stay with the Dolphins, who fell to 0-4 Sunday.

"That's ultimately their decision," Steinberg said. "We've had no contact with them."

Cameron said he would comment "if and when" Williams is reinstated.

"You can't let this process wear you out," Cameron said, when asked if the team has discussed the matter. "We've got pressing issues that we're getting taken care of. Once the decision is made we will put our heads together. We'll come up with a decision."

The NFL declined comment, saying it had not received official notification yet from Williams.

Williams spent an extended vacation in Australia and India during a yearlong retirement in 2004. He played in the Canadian Football League in 2006.

Steinberg said Williams was in "great shape" and "great spirits." He said Williams has been working with a personal trainer and continues to teach yoga.

"He hasn't taken the wear and tear on his body in the last couple years," Steinberg said. "He's a physical specimen and he's got the potential to be among the league leaders in rushing. Aside from one unfortunate season, he's never missed a day of training camp."

Williams' attorney, David Cornwell, deferred questions to the NFL on Monday.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press