Ricky Williams has retired from the NFL after an 11-year career playing with the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens.
Ricky Williams is retiring for the second time and possibly the last, after playing a back-up role for the Baltimore Ravens. He shared the backfield with starter Ray Rice and accumulated over 500 yards for two touchdowns in 2011.
"The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life," Williams told the Washington Post.
"I pray that all successive adventures offer me the same potential for growth, success and most importantly, fun. ... 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," he said.
Williams had his breakout game in 2011 in a win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 13, rushing for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Ricky Williams' career has involved as much controversy as success. He was once considered a top running back in the NFL before abruptly retiring after the 2003 season.
Williams had tested positive for marijuana and chose to retire rather than face the resulting suspension.
He stayed out the NFL for two seasons as his mental status was questioned. He had reportedly converted to Buddhism and spent most of his days smoking marijuana. He also spent a year in the Canadian Football League during his retirement.
He made a comeback in 2005 and ironically, ended up serving the 5-game suspension he evaded in 2005. Nevertheless, he went on to rush for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns, while sharing carries with Ronnie Brown for the Miami Dolphins.
Ricky Williams began to make headlines in the NFL before he ever took the field. Mike Dikta, head coach of the New Orleans Saints at the time, had controversially traded his first three draft picks to move up and draft Williams No. 5 overall in 2000.
The result was a cover on ESPN Magazine that showed Williams in a wedding dress, with Mike Dikta as the groom. Regardless of early controversy, Williams' career had a promising start. After an 884-yard rookie campaign, the Heisman Trophy winner rushed for over 1,000 yards in the next four seasons.
His best year was with the Miami Dolphins in 2002, when he rushed for 1,853 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Williams became the 26th running back to rush for over 10,000 yards, while scoring 73 touchdowns. His back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Dolphins remain the two most productive seasons in Dolphins history.