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Williams signs two-year Ravens deal, thankful for 'Fins days

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Ricky Williams' NFL career is winding down. He hopes it does so after he wins championships with the Baltimore Ravens.

Williams signed a two-year deal with the Ravens, who released Willis McGahee two weeks ago and needed a backup to starting running back Ray Rice. ProFootballTalk.com cited a league source Monday in reporting that Williams' deal is worth up to $4 million.

"I mean, Baltimore is a perennial playoff team," Williams said Monday during a radio interview on WQAM in Miami. "I've only been to the playoffs twice, and they were short trips. It's a great opportunity, a wonderful way to end my career, so I am looking forward to it."

Williams, 34, spent the last eight years with the Dolphins, posting his best season in 2002, his first in Miami, when he led the NFL with a career-high 1,853 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Williams also had a good 2009 season, when he rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"It's been an amazing ride," Williams said of his Dolphins tenure. "I want to apologize for any hearts I broke. Hopefully, I was able to amend for that these last couple years. ... The fans deserve a good team, and I just hope they get that."

Williams disappointed Dolphins fans when he retired from pro football prior to the 2004 season after testing positive for marijuana. He later returned to the league, but was suspended for the entire 2006 season and missed a large part of 2007 after further violations of NFL drug policy.

What the Ravens hope is that Williams can spell Rice as well as he did Ronnie Brown in Miami. Williams averaged 4.2 yards per carry while splitting time, gaining 673 yards and scoring two touchdowns last season.

"He's a veteran that brings a lot of leadership," Rice said. "I'm looking to learn a lot from him. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Added quarterback Joe Flacco: "He's an awesome player. He's a legit player."

Williams is a two-way threat, rushing for 9,569 career yards and 68 touchdowns and catching 325 passes for 2,523 yards and eight scores in 10 seasons. In Baltimore, he reunites with Cam Cameron, who coached Williams in 2007 with the Dolphins.

"It gives us a proven playmaker, an outstanding runner, an outstanding receiver and an outstanding pass protector," said Cameron, now the Ravens' offensive coordinator. "He knows this system and he has played extremely well in this system."

Williams has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which was successfully treated with therapy and medication.

"I think those things are way, way, way in the past," Cameron said. "My relationship, my experience with him, there is no risk, but we're all human. There's risk with everybody. We all make mistakes. Ricky's not perfect, but I know he's got a great heart and he's a great football player."

Williams might have inadvertently made more news during the WQAM interview when he claimed that Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told him after a game last year that the Lions would love to bring the running back to Detroit. If true, that would be a violation of the NFL's tampering rules, which prevent teams from recruiting players who are under contract with other clubs.

“For me, last year when we played the Lions, Scott Linehan, who was the offensive coordinator here (under former Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban), he came up to me after the game, and he said that if you need a home, we'd love to have you on our team,” Williams said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I talked to Scott this morning, and he said that if I ended up in Detroit, (I’d get) 15-20 carries a game. And he pointed out that if I went to Baltimore, I might only … (Willis) McGahee only got eight carries a game last year."

According to the Free Press, Lions spokesman Bill Keenist did not immediately return a call seeking comment and the NFL declined comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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