Thursday, August 19, 2010

RB Ricky Williams hoping for contract extension

Entering the final year of his current contract, Ricky Williams is reportedly hoping to receive a one-year contract extension from the Miami Dolphins that will run through the 2011 season.

Now 33, Williams is coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season since before his abrupt retirement prior to the 2004 season.

In 16 games including seven starts in 2009, Williams rushed for 1,12 yards and 11 touchdowns. He split time with starter Ronnie Brown early in the season and took over as the feature back when Brown suffered a season-ending foot injury in November.

Never a guy who just played for the money, Williams negotiated and signed a one-year extension with the Dolphins prior to the 2009 season. He is slated to make $4.35 million in 2010.

Williams hired super-agent Drew Rosenhaus in March, leading many to believe Williams would be seeking one last big-money deal. However, it seems Williams remains committed to working out an extension with the Dolphins and retiring after the 2011 season.

Analysis

In my mind, re-signing Williams beyond the 2010 season is a no-brainer.

Williams is still a highly productive back and doesn't have the wear and tear that many backs his age do. His conditioning is top-notch and he absolutely has the ability to be a feature back if called upon.

Furthermore, Williams' contract demands have never been outrageous and it's safe to say the guy has earned just a fraction of what he could have in his pro career. Not that Miami should make up for that now, but they should definitely realize that Williams isn't going to hold out for an insane contract.

Williams would also be useful in 2011 if Ronnie Brown isn't re-signed when his contract expires following the 2010 season. Brown is an extremely talented back, but at 29 and having missed quite a bit of time in recent years with various injuries, it's hard to say he's a prime candidate for a long-term contract.

I imagine Brown will be able to get more money elsewhere, which would make the need for Williams in Miami all the greater. Backup Lex Hilliard hasn't been that productive in the regular season and has limited upside, while Patrick Cobbs is more of a third-down back and specialty player.

Williams is still a capable back and should command a fair one-year extension, making him an ideal feature back in 2011 until the Dolphins can find a younger, long-term solution.


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