Apparently, Ricky Williams had no plans to retire from football after the 2011 season ended. Then he received from Bill Parcells a text message that planted a seed, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The exchange started with Parcells asking Williams, “How you doing? I’m just checking up on you.”
“I had a great year,” Ricky said in response. “Body felt good. When I got to play, had a blast. Can’t wait till next year.”
“That’s good,” Parcells replied, even though I’m having trouble envisioning him hunting and pecking through the QWERTY keyboard of a smart phone with his thumbs. “Don’t chase this thing too long. You can contribute in other ways.”
And so Ricky decided to call it quits. And so either Ricky is extremely impressionable, or Parcells has strong powers of persuasion.
“I have to keep 85 percent of who I really am under wraps to fit into that [football] model,” Ricky said. “It’s not fun for me. Even when I show an extra five percent, it pushes the envelope.”
Some would suggest he’s referring to his desire to smoke marijuana from time to time (or more often than that), something that he successfully has put on the back burner for the past several years. But Ricky has other things he wants to do with his life, and he has every right to explore those possibilities.
Still, few things pay as well as pro football, especially when a guy is in line for the maximum veteran minimum of nearly $1 million. And that’s the real question Ricky needs to ask himself: Does he have the money to afford the pay cut that comes from not playing football? If he does, then so be it. If he doesn’t, he may need another year or two of NFL money before he can comfortably transition to the next phase of his life.
That said, there continues to be a sense that he’ll decide to return to the NFL at some point in the future. Though he doesn’t have the name recognition to justify the placement of Ed Werder on the street outside Ricky’s home until further notice, it makes sense to keep an eye on whether the 1998 Heisman winner will decide to give it one more go.