Mandatory Credit: MiamiDolphins.com
Ricky Williams for two 1st’s
On March 8th of 2002 the Dolphins were looking to make a big move. Dave Wannstedt believed his team was one player away from making huge strides in the AFC. So he traded for Ricky Williams. Williams was one of the best running backs in the league and the Dolphins had no problem giving up the two first round picks and a 4th for the enigmatic runner.
Williams had immediate positive impact on the team rushing for over 1,800 yards and making the Pro-Bowl. Three times in his seasons with the Dolphins Williams rushed for more than 1,000 yards. He scored 48 times on the ground and six through the air. Williams is still one of the top rushers in Dolphins history after having spent seven of his seasons as a member of the Dolphins.
So why is this such a bad trade? Well it is and it isn’t. The intentions of this trade were good but William’s had a lot of issues. Specifically with speaking to the media. His bouts with depression led him to quit two weeks prior to the 2004 season. He walked away and left the country. It would later be reported that Williams had failed a drug test and was looking at serving a suspension. The following year Nick Saban convinced Williams to return to football.
Williams, after having sat out the 2004 season missed the first four games of the year due to his suspension. He would not eclipse 1,000 yards. Following the season Williams would be suspended again by the NFL and sit out the entire 2006 season. He would return in 2007 but an injury would cost him all but one game. In 2008 Williams would return to the Dolphins at the urging of Bill Parcells. He would play three more seasons for the team before finishing his career in Baltimore for one final season in 2011.
Of the seven seasons Williams was in Miami for, three of those were missed due to drug suspensions or injury. Two first round picks was a lot to give up for the aggravation. But it sure was fun watching him run.
Next: Mike Wallace