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.
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.