No news on Ricky Williams is bad news
It should strike a curious chord with Dolphins fans that while the NFL is settling many matters of personal misconduct at the season's halfway point, you've not heard a peep about the Ricky Williams matter.
While Tank Johnson's suspension expired in Dallas, Koren Robinson was allowed to return from suspension in Green Bay, and Chris Henry's suspension is over in Cincinnati, Williams' indefinite suspension for violating the league's substance abuse program has not been publicly addressed although Williams applied for reinstatement in October.
This clearly means Williams likely will not be reinstated anytime soon because, if things were sailing along smoothly and there were no issues with the reinstatement, it likely would have been addressed by now. The Dolphins were hoping Williams would be reinstated before the mid-October trade deadline so they could trade Williams. That obviously didn't happen.
ESPN reported Sunday the NFL was actually doing the Dolphins a favor by not reinstating Williams before the end of this season because that would help the team avoid a public relations problem. NOTE TO ESPN: Miami's PR problem has little to do with Williams and everything to do with 0-8.
Anyway, this delay in being reinstated (and rest assured, Williams will definitely be reinstated at some point) doesn't affect Miami now but could lessen the running back's value on the trade market after the season.
What market, you ask? There will almost definitely be one and the Dolphins may very well get a fifth or sixth round pick for Williams. Don't be surprised if the Patriots come calling about Williams as former Miami coach Nick Saban loved the player and almost certainly will pass that fond opinion to friend Bill Belichick -- just as he passed along his love for Wes Welker.
Finally, a lot of you keep asking about the $8-plus million judgment Miami won against Williams, the one that practically forced Williams to return to Miami after he retired in 2004. Once he's reinstated, the Dolphins will temporarily invoke their claim to that money. Then they'll trade him, or failing that, terminate Williams while simultaneously dropping the claim. I am unclear whether that claim will pass to Williams' new team, assuming he's traded.
The Dolphins could continue to pursue collection of the judgement if they want. But they are likely to drop it as a way of effectively closing the book on the Williams saga. And, if you ask me, it is definitely a saga that begs a finale.