"Ricky Williams’s Awful NFL Contract Never Gave Him A Chance" (538.com) (1 Viewer)

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Anyone up for a refresher in Saints history can pore through this new 538.com article and accompanying video that revisit Ricky Williams's controversial rookie contract and conclude, not surprisingly, that it was a bad deal:

Williams never lived up to the hype of his contract. He was traded from New Orleans to Miami in 2002, and although he rushed for over 10,000 yards during his career — one of only 29 players to do so — he had only one Pro Bowl season, in 2002. He retired in 2004, due in part to a failed test for marijuana, returned in 2005, missed the entire 2006 season for another marijuana violation, and retired for good before the 2012 season.

But if Ricky had matched the high expectations set out for him, and had consistently played for the seven years of his contract instead of bouncing in and out of the league, could the deal have paid off? FiveThirtyEight obtained a copy of the deal, and we calculated how much every running back since 1989 could have earned from it.1 And we can say without reservation: Ricky Williams got screwed. Williams definitely underperformed expectations during his career, but only a fraction of that $68 million was achievable at all, even to the greatest running backs in recent memory.
The NFL is a deeply player-unfriendly league. Large rosters, short careers and a weak union mean that players are less financially stable than their NBA and MLB peers when their careers are over (although the extent of this financially instability is still being debated). Ricky Williams got a particularly bad deal, but the way in which it was bad — a fantastical max value propped up by hard-to-reach incentives and a lack of guarantees — are true of many less notable signings. Just last year the Bills made headlines by signing quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a six-year extension worth up to $92 million. Of course, only $9.5 million of that is guaranteed. According to NFL.com report’s Ian Rapoport, who broke the news, “there’s a lot of prove-it in the deal.”
Ricky Williams’s Awful NFL Contract Never Gave Him A Chance

How Ricky Williams’s Infamous Contract Got Made
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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lol..he signed with Master P and let him negotiate his contract. Thats all his own doing.
 

insidejob

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Exactly. Just another example of a spoiled NFL player trying to blame someone else for their own choices/mistakes.
Funny thing is: These articles are analyses of his rookie contract. I didn't even see a single quote from Williams in either article, much less anything that suggest he's "a spoiled NFL player trying to blame someone else for his choices/mistakes."

Maybe read the articles linked before commenting on them?
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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Exactly. Just another example of a spoiled NFL player trying to blame someone else for their own choices/mistakes.
I wouldn't call him spoiled... more like Gullable.


In fact if you say Gullable really slowly.....it sounds like Orange.
 

diehardfan

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That's what an agent is for. He chose a rapper for an agent. That's his mistake.
 

Waymer

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Exactly. Just another example of a spoiled NFL player trying to blame someone else for their own choices/mistakes.
Ricky's not writing the article. There are no excuses from him stated.

538 said:
Williams definitely underperformed expectations during his career... [/url]
Not sure that's fair. The expectations weren't Williams. Now, do you want to say Williams had issues with marijuana, etc. That's fair given the rules in place. But Williams ultimately finished with 10,000+ rushing yards, one of currently only 29 players ever to do so. Consider in years 2-5 he averaged 122 yards from scrimmage. He ran well, was a very underrated receiver, etc.

The marijuana absences linger, no question. Though as society has changed, I think some views of Williams have softened as well. He was, during his prime, perhaps the best back in the NFL.

In my mind Ricky was just fine. It's the expectations, and absences, that taint opinions of him.
 

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On one of those documentaries, he asked for the contract to be structured like it was. He believed he should get paid for his performance. While Master P owned the firm, the agent that represented Ricky was highly educated. Maybe Ricky is to blame for the contract.

He is a interesting person, nonetheless. Reminds me of one of those deep thinkers in college who "philosiphized" on the importance of life - but was always broke, smoking weed, and dropping classes. You can be intelligent and overthink your way out of improvement.

There was also some mental issues for Ricky. But, he's happy now.
 

KCWhoDat

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Williams was a beast....I still remember his stiff arm against Carolina when he trotted in the end zone. I also remember the day he was drafted, I thought my buddy was joking cause he was on nights and was at home watching the draft and said you guys just traded away everything for Rickey Williams. Oh what a day that was...
 

ATL-St.Fan

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Ricky could run. I remember watching him regularly making something out of nothing to keep drives alive. I definitely enjoyed watching him play while he was Saint and appreciate his contributions. Just a crazy situation he was in. Hope he is enjoying his life after the NFL.
 

noser222

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In 2000 he was on pace for 1600 yards rushing before he had the broken ankle. So his base salary would have increased by $1 million?

 

Jive Saint

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Ricky Williams is now a heavy investor in medical marijuana. He will make millions because of his story. Plus he is a great guy to talk to.

Nothing spoiled about him. Maybe a little wanderlust. I dig the fella.
 

kcirdor

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Exactly. Just another example of a spoiled NFL player trying to blame someone else for their own choices/mistakes.
Rickey has never been a person to complain or whine about stuff. His issues were related to social anxiety.
 

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