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Saban, Dolphins RB Williams discuss return

DAVIE, Fla. (May 19, 2005) -- Ricky Williams is discussing a comeback with the Miami Dolphins, coach Nick Saban said.

Saban acknowledged holding recent discussions with Williams, whose sudden retirement stunned the Dolphins shortly before training camp began last season. He would not divulge specifics of the talks, but has long said he was open to the prospect of Williams returning.

Williams rushed for 3,225 yards and 25 touchdowns in his two seasons with the Dolphins.

"Ricky still seems to be very, very interested in coming back," Saban said. "As I've said before, the things that we discuss, we've decided not to talk about publicly. I think that I can safely say that you all know about his situation as I do."

Leigh Steinberg, Williams' agent, didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Williams, who led the NFL in rushing in 2002, still owes the Dolphins millions for breaching his contract by unexpectedly retiring.

After quitting the Dolphins, the former Heisman Trophy winner later acknowledged he failed drug tests and faced a suspension for testing positive three times for marijuana.

"There are issues that need to be worked through," Saban said. "We're all in the process of evaluating those issues before it is resolved."

If Williams returns, he likely would have to wait until July to un-retire. Otherwise, he would face a one-year suspension for his violations of the NFL's substance-abuse program. Williams will still face a four-game suspension for failing a third drug test for marijuana last July, right before he retired.

Plus, the Dolphins used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft on another running back, Ronnie Brown of Auburn.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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