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Ricky Williams inadvertently blows whistles on Lions

9860514-large AP

Running back Ricky Williams signed with the Ravens on Monday.  His decision came down to the Ravens and Lions.

In explaining his decision to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Williams inadvertently let it be known that Lions engaged in a clear act of tampering last season, after the Lions beat the Dolphins in Miami.

“For me, last year when we played the Lions, Scott Linehan, who was the offensive coordinator here with coach [Nick] Saban, he came up to me after the game, and he said that if you need a home, we’d love to have you on our team,” Williams said.

Oops.

That kind of stuff is clearly prohibited.  At the time, Williams was under contract with the Dolphins, and they possessed the exclusive ability to negotiate with Williams.  Linehan’s statements, if they were indeed made, violate the letter and the spirit of the tampering rules.

The Lions were busted for tampering earlier this year after the Chiefs complained about alleged efforts by the Lions to attract Kansas City players.  The league could investigate the Lions as to the comments that Linehan made to Williams, even without a complaint from the Dolphins.

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72 Responses to “Ricky Williams inadvertently blows whistles on Lions”
  1. bender4700 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:12 PM

    Honestly, Tampering is one of the more over blown things in the NFL.

    These guys all hang out and talk all the time. Ocho posted a picture of him and a Steeler WR at lunch before the Bengals vs Steelers game last year. Yet a coach can’t talk to a player and simply say something nice?

    Just like the fact Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb can’t communicate until Donovan retires.

    Sometimes people in the league have to realize it is just a game.

  2. 2011to2020lions says: Aug 8, 2011 11:12 PM

    Oh Great, kick a team while they are down Geeeeez

  3. ninjapleazee says: Aug 8, 2011 11:15 PM

    MONEY is the only thing that matters to 99.9 percent of the players.

  4. dallasfan74 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:16 PM

    Dang, can the lions get any more bad news this offseason? Starting to think that franchise is cursed!

  5. malekmj says: Aug 8, 2011 11:16 PM

    Are you kidding me? Was he SMOKING while he made these comments? Thanks a lot Ricky. Offer the guy a big contract and he allows his dead brain cells to do the talking. I am a HUGE Lions fan but I can’t blame him for the choice. This year the Ravens do have a better chance. Long term I like my Lions. But jeez Ricky give us a break. And also I want to point out that he said….IF YOU NEED A HOME. That is a conditional statement assuming that the Dolphins had first dibs and was only if he found himself cut.

  6. eagles247 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:16 PM

    I wouldn’t consider that tampering.

  7. ebenezergrymm says: Aug 8, 2011 11:18 PM

    A coach, nay multiple coaches, every season since seasons began, has at some point been asked about a player and said “They’re a great player and we’d love to have them on our team.” For years since we’ve had mic’d up coaches etc. on the field we’ve seen pre-game and post game shots of them talking to other teams players and saying they’d like to have them on their team. Here’s a recent one:

    Belichik and OchoCinco.

    That’s not tampering.

  8. doowix says: Aug 8, 2011 11:18 PM

    All teams tamper. Just eliminate the rules against it already.

  9. tatum064 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:19 PM

    After going 0-16 in 2009 CAN ANYBODY BLAME THE LIONS!? Enough with the “tampering”. Its dumb…if they want to come down on somebody, why destroy the Patriot tapes ( a much better and clearer definition of violating the game’s rules)

    Gotta be the  

  10. freedomispopular says: Aug 8, 2011 11:20 PM

    It seems to be like it was more of a friendly statement than an intentional violation of tampering rules. If the Lions got busted for that I’d lose a lot of interest in the NFL.

  11. clw1906 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:20 PM

    Lmfao

  12. camssportsjam says: Aug 8, 2011 11:20 PM

    what a joke if thats what tampering is, thats crazy

  13. sickpuppyz says: Aug 8, 2011 11:22 PM

    what? rampant cheating in the NFL? or more exactly breaking/tampering with/the rules? clearly only the Patriots do that. Only the Patriots deserve to lose a 1st round pick…yeah, but the Lions haven’t had the success that warrants losing a 1st round pick, especially since they have a track record of awful picking as it is.

  14. 90sniners says: Aug 8, 2011 11:22 PM

    Nick Saban was the Lions coach?

  15. jacksaysfu says: Aug 8, 2011 11:23 PM

    He was really talking to a homeless guy outside 7-11 . Man, that guy gets some potent herb.

    Ricky Seriously is lucky he has SOME talent, cause his football “passion” is non existent.

  16. thetooloftools says: Aug 8, 2011 11:24 PM

    Ricky was high and misrememberd.

  17. snap0179 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:26 PM

    Hang on, are we sure this wasn’t the Patriots? Just want to be sure!

  18. Jessica says: Aug 8, 2011 11:28 PM

    Roger Goodell: “Scott, Ricky Williams says you tampered with him. Is that true?”

    Scott Linehan: “Permit me to point out that these allegations rely solely upon the strength of Ricky Williams’ memory.”

    Roger Goodell: “Ah…excellent point. Case dismissed.”

  19. shaggytoodle says: Aug 8, 2011 11:29 PM

    Not the first time Ricky Williams and busted where used in a sentance.

  20. letsgetit9ers says: Aug 8, 2011 11:30 PM

    Stop Snitchin!!! lol

  21. goawayeverybody says: Aug 8, 2011 11:30 PM

    He should have chosen the Lions. With Mikel LeShoure out for the season, he would have had almost equal footing with the somewhat injury prone Jahvid Best.

  22. phillyfan4444 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:31 PM

    Who cares

  23. infectorman says: Aug 8, 2011 11:31 PM

    To which Ricky replied, “got any any zig zag 1.25′s. coach? gotta get my victory spleef spun!”
    Ricky, Ricky, Ricky….

  24. doctorfootball says: Aug 8, 2011 11:32 PM

    Oh, Ricky. You poor, silly bastard lol Way to blow the whistle on a team who has enough troubles at the moment. Their two best draft picks are already injured. One of them, Mikel Leshoure, is out for the season. Their quarterback, Stafford, can’t stay healthy. And, now you drop this on them too, Ricky? Especially since we know teams tamper all the time.

  25. justwaittilnextyear says: Aug 8, 2011 11:33 PM

    Holy smokes if this true and the Lions lose another draft pick because of this then I believe our dumbass coaches deserve to be given the pink slip/s.Can’t we ever get a break!Mikel Leshur blows out a achilles today and now this……..now I know how Charlie Brown felt…good grief!

  26. hasselbeck8 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:34 PM

    I’m sorry but.. Who cares? I’m sure this happens ALL the time.

  27. laxer37 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:34 PM

    Ricky is getting old snd his skills are on the decline, much like the rest of the Ravens.

    He would have been totally out of place on a young, fresh, team on the rise like the Lions.

  28. steelers4385 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:35 PM

    So? Did he go to them? Ok then. Big freakn deal. U went to an old ravens team where they cant do anything but run ur face to the ground bc they have a overrated qb and no one to thrown to. Im obviouslly not even a lions fan and he woulda dun better ther. That stupid pot head woulda had all the goaline carries. Cant wait to hit this guy around first game of year. Dnt think u can hide behind vonte the whole time.

  29. tipdrill84 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:36 PM

    Maybe Linehan needed something for his cataracts and that was just code.

  30. thefiesty1 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:37 PM

    Of course the Lions would want a quality veteran. No body in their right mind would actually want to play for those losers.

  31. trbowman says: Aug 8, 2011 11:38 PM

    Run Lions Run

  32. zibikbeer says: Aug 8, 2011 11:40 PM

    you never hear about my steelers gettin caught up in ish like this yo.. thats why we got 6

  33. emersonbigguns says: Aug 8, 2011 11:42 PM

    Duh’Oh!

  34. jcg23 says: Aug 8, 2011 11:45 PM

    Guys do this all the time to married women. If you ever need a real man. You got me. Tampering!!!

  35. vikingdoode says: Aug 8, 2011 11:45 PM

    Haha Lions

  36. danrooneyii says: Aug 8, 2011 11:55 PM

    Sounds like they need to be stripped of a first round pick. Not like it matters though, they seem to be always picking players in the top 5-10.

  37. andyreidisfat says: Aug 8, 2011 11:59 PM

    Tampering can be a problem but this is not one. A coach telling a player he loves his game and if he was ever free to come on over is no big deal.

    That being said i think the Lions should get a warning on this because of other violations they seem to have made. Comments like these probably are not a problem but if they are doing it all the time then i do think it is a problem.

    What i really think is dumb is when teams claim tampering the week before free agency. Thats just silly.

  38. sickpuppyz says: Aug 9, 2011 12:00 AM

    zibikbeer says: Aug 8, 2011 11:40 PM

    you never hear about my steelers gettin caught up in ish like this yo.. thats why we got 6
    —————————————————
    you must be a bandwagon fan. I remember steelers vented the salary cap and lost a 3rd pick. The Rooneys clearly violated NFL rules by being involved with owning a casino. chk yoself.

    did I forget to mention the rampant steroid abuse of the iron curtain era?

  39. iflounder says: Aug 9, 2011 12:04 AM

    tampering or just giving the guy a complement. is making eye contact with someone on the other team tampering? seems someones on a witch hunt again, trying to create a story, so he can get his name in the press as the one who broke it.

  40. ditkadontbutkus says: Aug 9, 2011 12:06 AM

    Uh, wait…so this is tampering, how???

  41. justentertainingthestupid says: Aug 9, 2011 12:06 AM

    The lions won’t get in trouble for this. The NFL has bigger fish to fry.

  42. christinamer says: Aug 9, 2011 12:06 AM

    ‘If you ever need a home.’ Not tampering.

    ‘Can we lure you from your home with a promise of big dollars?’ Tampering.

    Not hard to decipher the difference.

  43. cured76 says: Aug 9, 2011 12:20 AM

    I wonder if “hey man, nice to see you” will soon be prohibited. May as well just grunt at each other and make Jon Gruden faces after the game when you shake hands.

  44. crabboil says: Aug 9, 2011 12:23 AM

    Snitches get stitches…

  45. polegojim says: Aug 9, 2011 12:24 AM

    Ricky – ALL LIONS FAN THANK YOU…. for going to the Ravens.

    Now that we’re climbing out of the abyss, we want players who… I don’t know… WANT to play football for the passion, not for drug money… and for a WHOLE season… not limping on poor excuses to sit out.

    The only time we want to see you in Detroit is in an opposing jersey.

  46. theallegedone says: Aug 9, 2011 12:41 AM

    malekmj says:Aug 8, 2011 11:16 PM Are you kidding me? Was he SMOKING while he made these comments? Thanks a lot Ricky. Offer the guy a big contract and he allows his dead brain cells to do the talking. I am a HUGE Lions fan but I can’t blame him for the choice. This year the Ravens do have a better chance. Long term I like my Lions.
    ———————————————————————————–

    Really? Because your Lions have shown they they will soon be good? Because the Lions are such a juggernaut? People that sign with the Lions are people that have no place else to go or its because the Lions will double the players’ asking price. No big name star has ever just decided to sign with the Lions. And never will.

  47. sterlingrodgers says: Aug 9, 2011 12:44 AM

    Wow. If “we’d love to have you” = forfeiture of a draft pick, that would be absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe that could happen. Even as a division rival*, I’d be upset if that statement warranted punishment of ANY kind.

    * I’m actually not a division rival, I just cheer for one. (talking to all those “6″ chanters who don’t realize that the NFL existed before the dawn of the Super Bowl age)

  48. dccowboy says: Aug 9, 2011 12:49 AM

    So? All Linehan has to do is say, “No, I didn’t” and there is no case.

  49. darthhitman says: Aug 9, 2011 1:04 AM

    You’re right, your steelers just get caught up in bathroom stalls with chicks with their pants down and people guarding the doors…BIG DIFFERENCE

  50. chris1019 says: Aug 9, 2011 1:06 AM

    Maybe he was literally referring to Ricky needing a home. Real-Estate is dirt cheap out there and Ricky needs all the financial help he get.

  51. phinfan says: Aug 9, 2011 1:15 AM

    While you’re at it… what did CamMORON say to you last year?

  52. fooch21 says: Aug 9, 2011 2:40 AM

    90sniners says: Aug 8, 2011 11:22 PM

    Nick Saban was the Lions coach?
    ______________________________________

    Seriously dude? Do you even watch football? roll out!

  53. nygdefenserules says: Aug 9, 2011 2:53 AM

    Fine the coach – don’t punish the franchise. The OWNER or GM didn’t do it!

    Also, I think the easy way to get rid of the off-season tampering to to allow all players with expiring contracts (to-be-free-agents) one week to go from team to team and negotiate, get offer sheets, etc. All offer sheets MUST be presented to their “current team” to at least give them the chance to match/beat the offers. At Midnight, Free Agency opens and they can accept an whichever offer they want, sign and move on with their life.

    Basically, allow a week of tampering before anyone can sign officially…kind of like they had this year! We all heard Nnamdi was going to the Eagles, but he couldn’t sign a contract until the league year officially started.

  54. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Aug 9, 2011 3:01 AM

    At least they’re finally getting with the program…

  55. guvsta says: Aug 9, 2011 3:56 AM

    Non story. He was on the market for a week and a half and didn’t sign for the Lions. I’m struggling to see why this would interest the League.

  56. bigboi30 says: Aug 9, 2011 4:00 AM

    @ zibikbeer

    Yeah great for the high and mighty steelers. Your going to come down on my lions for a quote to a player that is said a hundred times over everyday by anyone in the league? Ok fine. But before you open that retard mouth of yours, make sure your own house is in order. We may not be the best in the league, but at least most our team isnt felons, criminals, and accused rapist. Go be proud. Hmmmmm
    Go Lions your true fans will stick with you through everything.

  57. pftequalsgreatjournalism says: Aug 9, 2011 4:28 AM

    dallasfan74 says:
    Aug 8, 2011 11:16 PM
    Dang, can the lions get any more bad news this offseason? Starting to think that franchise is cursed!

    ————————-

    This coming from a fellow Cowgirls fan. We have Jerruh as our GM and you are talking about cursed…

    Child please…

  58. 1bigtex says: Aug 9, 2011 5:27 AM

    @ ninjapleazee

    If money is the only thing that matters to 99.9 percent of the players, would you care to give us the percentage of owners that the same thing can be said about? I’d guess it to be 100% with the possible exception of the semi-comatose Ralph Wilson.

  59. whodeytn says: Aug 9, 2011 6:03 AM

    zibikbeer says:
    Aug 8, 2011 11:40 PM
    you never hear about my steelers gettin caught up in ish like this yo.. thats why we got 6

    ———————————

    Spoken like a true white teenager from the suburbs of Pittsburgh

  60. ICDogg says: Aug 9, 2011 6:15 AM

    Considering how much real tampering goes on, this is a pretty picky example.

  61. detroitrollin22 says: Aug 9, 2011 6:16 AM

    You have to be kidding me so what about Rex Ryan saying he doesnt “wish Shaun Ellis well shouldnt” that be tampering then b.c. he’s not on his team anymore…. like Chris Carter would say “Come on Mannnnnnnnnnn”

  62. rcunningham says: Aug 9, 2011 6:50 AM

    zibikbeer says:
    Aug 8, 2011 11:40 PM
    you never hear about my steelers gettin caught up in ish like this yo.. thats why we got 6

    Yeah, they never get caught up in controversial stuff, just like how Hines Ward didn’t get a DUI and Ben isn’t a total slimebag.

    On topic: Anyone who questions Ricky’s character should really watch the 30 for 30 with him. Amazing episode.

  63. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Aug 9, 2011 7:35 AM

    This is not tampering at all. This is an old coach probably shaking his hand after the game saying some kind words. Unless he was trying to negotiate a contract or making financial promises, this is just two guys talking. This site is often obsessed with tampering charges when they dont apply so I’m not necessarily surprised here.

  64. bleedgreen says: Aug 9, 2011 7:49 AM

    Saying that IF you ever need a place, we have one for you isn’t tampering. Saying ‘Hey, come play with us! We’ll pay you a lot!’ is tampering.

  65. benh999 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:53 AM

    In the competitive interest of the league, why not let the Lions tamper a little?

  66. dikshuttle says: Aug 9, 2011 8:02 AM

    Oh imagine that, an associate of Nick Saban is a cheating SOB. Go figure.

  67. dietrich43 says: Aug 9, 2011 8:08 AM

    Goodell should give the Lions credit for ‘time served’ while Millen was in charge.

  68. raven4life21 says: Aug 9, 2011 9:19 AM

    malekmj says:
    Aug 8, 2011 11:16 PM
    Are you kidding me? Was he SMOKING while he made these comments? Thanks a lot Ricky. Offer the guy a big contract and he allows his dead brain cells to do the talking.

    ====

    Marijuana does NOT kill brain cells… the THC coats your cells and they tend to work slower than normal… now i can’t say he hasn’t killed his brain cells in other ways because i just don’t know… but you should do your research on Mary Jane…

  69. polegojim says: Aug 9, 2011 10:03 AM

    @raven – ok… so that’s MUCH better, brilliant!

    In that case, glad you picked him up. Coat away and enjoy having a running back with ‘slower than normal’ brain cells.

  70. flabtreesports says: Aug 9, 2011 11:37 AM

    laxer37 says:
    Aug 8, 2011 11:34 PM
    Ricky is getting old snd his skills are on the decline, much like the rest of the Ravens.

    Let’s see here.
    Average age of Ravens Offensive Starters: 26.8 (24.5 with Reid instead of Cousins)
    Average age of Steelers Offensive Starters: 26.8

    Average age of Ravens Defensive Starters: 28.1 (27.6 with Smith instead of Carr or Foxworth)
    Average age of Steelers Defensive Starters: 30 (31 with Smith instead of Hood)

  71. charmcitysittinpretty says: Aug 9, 2011 5:51 PM

    Oh one more thing, see you September 11th sweet hearts :)

  72. bossisforboston says: Aug 10, 2011 10:00 PM

    It’s funny how it was released that the Patriots Spygate lead to no ADVANTAGE… but people often overlook the players who are acquired via a rival team or stuff like this more so..

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