Ricky Williams announces retirement

Veteran Ricky Williams, who had one of the more interesting careers of any player in recent memory, announced his retirement today in a statement through the Baltimore Ravens.

Williams began his career with the New Orleans Saints as then-coach Mike Ditka traded his entire draft to the Washington Redskins to select Williams fifth overall in 1999.

Williams was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2002, but abruptly retired in 2004 after rumors of a third positive drug test surfaced, which would have caused him to face a one-year suspension. He spent that year studying ancient Indian holistic medicine.

He returned to the Dolphins in 2005, but was suspended for the 2006 season because of another violation of the substance abuse policy and wound up playing that season for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.

Williams returned to the Dolphins in 2007 and played there until signing with the Ravens last season.

He finishes his career with 10,009 yards rushing and 66 rushing touchdowns in 147 games.

“The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life,” Williams said. “I pray that all successive adventures offer me the same potential for growth, success and most importantly, fun. I want to thank all my fans, teammates, coaches and supporters for the strength they've given me to overcome so much. I want to especially thank my family, coach Mack Brown, coach [Mike] Ditka, coach [Bill] Parcells, Ronnie Brown, Wilbert Montgomery and the Jamail Family for believing in me. As for what's next, I am excited about all the opportunities ahead – continuing my education, running The Ricky Williams Foundation and whatever other opportunities present themselves.

“My football career has been filled with many great memories going back to pee wee football with coach Tom Miller, [San Diego’s] Patrick Henry High School and coach Jerry Varner and on to the University of Texas. It has been a big part of my life and blessed me with so many wonderful opportunities and the chance to connect with many people who have helped me grow and mature. I will miss the game, the camaraderie, my teammates and especially the emotions of a big victory. I love the game and leave it feeling fulfilled, proud, in great health and excited about the future.

“I have to thank coach [John] Harbaugh and the Ravens organization for the opportunity they gave me this year. I had so much fun and really appreciated the chance to finish on such a great note.”

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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