Dolphins can certainly use a few more good players. They also don’t
want to lose the good ones they have.
the essence of what General Manager Randy Mueller spends his time
focused on since head coach Nick Saban successfully persuaded him to
join the franchise.
fact, the team has made so many changes since Mueller joined up that
Saban wonders if the Dolphins have “changed too much”.
Mueller’s view, there no choice but to change. It’s a
view that the coaches wholeheartedly support.
has to happen that way because we’ve got to find the kind of
player(s) that Coach wants to fit into the system.”
the case of Ricky Williams, expect him to be a part of the long term
to a popular school of thought, Mueller sees a likely scenario where
both Williams and top pick Ronnie Brown continue with the team beyond
not for getting rid of good players”, said Mueller. “Can
they both exist? Sure they can. It’s a two man job now.”
Mueller calls any future decision regarding Williams’s
oft-discussed contract status “premature”, it seems clear
that the Dolphins have been giving some real thought towards finding
a mutually agreeable way to keeping Williams and Brown together.
is under contract obviously for several more years,” noted
Mueller. “But you could make the case to justify having both of
them. I think they’re both different enough that it would make
sense for us.”
would it make sense for Ricky? His agent, Leigh Steinberg, has made
it clear that he would like to have his client’s contract
adjusted so that Williams isn’t playing for minimal dollars.
the Dolphins have the high ground in any potential discussions
regarding Williams’s future over the remaining life of his
current contract. Williams is basically obligated to live up to the
current deal, warts and all, lest the Dolphins enforce the $8.6
million judgment levied against him for walking out on the team last
now, with only a preseason of work completed, the Dolphins are more
than willing to watch and see.
being said, Williams has helped his cause since his return by being a
work during training camp earned high praise from Saban. With his
league-mandated suspension currently in effect, Williams has
continued to be diligent with conditioning and weight training work.
has even taken to practicing alone on the field once his teammates
have left, repeating the same drills that were conducted earlier.
Under NFL rules, only an athletic trainer is permitted to supervise
there’s the question of Ricky’s feelings about being back
with the Dolphins.
all accounts Williams has really bought into Saban’s program.
He appears happy in Miami and has privately suggested that he would
prefer not to leave. Even the perceived uneasiness between himself
and Mueller seems to have passed.
he got here, the very first day he got back, we hooked up in the
hallway and we had a good laugh”, Mueller recalled about their
ironic reunion. To that end, Mueller believes he and Williams have
put the past behind them.
this create conditions for a compromise between Williams and the
Dolphins, a compromise that would keep the enigmatic running back in
Miami for the rest of his career?
we can find a way to keep them both, I’m all for it”,
declared Mueller. “Had the Dolphins not given us that type of
compensation package, he’d probably be in New Orleans right
that it is highly unlikely that the Dolphins will receive anything
close to what they paid for Williams, the best value proposition for
all parties concerned would be a continued relationship. That could
take the form of a highly incentivized deal with similar “walkaway”
language that his current deal now possesses.
for Mueller’s statement that both players are “different
enough”, early returns tend to support the position.
at this point in his career relative to Brown’s, is the more
polished runner. Meanwhile, Brown’s ability in the passing game
and in pass protection is exceptional.
Williams would reprise the role that Carnell “Cadillac”
Williams played when Cadillac and Brown were at Auburn, a tandem that
seemed to work out pretty well.
a formula that the Dolphins appear likely to try and follow.