MIAMI (June 17, 2005) -- Ricky Williams will apply for reinstatement with the Miami Dolphins toward the end of next month.
The star running back's agent, Leigh Steinberg, said Friday that Williams would file the application on July 23 or shortly thereafter. Steinberg considers that date the one-year anniversary of Williams' retirement.
"As far as we're concerned, that's the date he sent the letter," Steinberg said. "The league or the Dolphins may have a date a day or two later, but that's our date."
Williams, who has acknowledged that he tested positive for marijuana a third time last July, has to stay retired for a year to avoid a full season's suspension under the league's drug policy. He is still subject to a four-game ban.
Normally, Williams would be reinstated to the NFL's drug program upon his return to the league. But Steinberg said NFL officials decided to put his client back in the drug program early to monitor him before his official reinstatement by the league.
Williams, who turned 28 last month, rushed for 1,853 yards in 2003, his first year in Miami after being traded from New Orleans, then ran for 1,372 the next season. Without him last year, the Dolphins fell to 4-12 and new coach Nick Saban chose another running back, Ronnie Brown of Auburn, with the second overall pick in April's draft.
The Williams saga had numerous twists, including his acknowledgment shortly after retiring that he failed drug tests and faced a suspension for testing positive three times for marijuana. A court later found the Heisman Trophy winner in breach of contract by retiring, and ordered him to repay the team $8.6 million.