With Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain gone, the Ravens needed a veteran presence at tailback.
They’ve gotten it with the addition of Ricky Williams.
Per a league source, Williams signed a two-year deal. It’s worth up to $4 million.
Williams, the 1998 Heisman winner, entered the NFL with a flourish, as former Saints coach Mike Ditka gave up an entire draft and a first-rounder in 2000 to move up seven spots, from No. 12 overall to No. 5.
Williams then donned a wedding dress to pose with Ditka in a tux. The marriage was annulled after only one year, when Dikta was fired.
Williams rushed for 884, 1,000, and 1,245 yards in his first three NFL seasons. The Saints shipped him to the Dolphins for a first-round pick and a conditional selection (which ended up being another first-round pick) in 2002.
In his first season with the Dolphins, Williams churned up 1,853 yards on 383 carries. He added another 392 carries and 1,372 yards in 2003. Then, in July 2004, he abruptly retired.
He returned the following year and rushed for 743 yards. Then he was suspended for all of 2006, and he appeared in only one game in 2007. Williams rushed for 1,121 yards in 2009 in seven starts, his most in six years.
The Dolphins showed little interest in bringing him back for another season. And so now both Williams and Ronnie Brown, the top two ground-game options of the Tony Sparano/Jeff Ireland are gone.
Though Williams is 34, he could fill an important role behind Ray Rice on the Ravens depth chart, giving the team a bruising, between-the-tackles option to complement the smaller, shiftier Rice. Coupled with Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach, the Ravens’ run game could make things very interesting this season.