That was when Williams, a qualified yoga instructor, was going to run a “Yoga and Sports” program for guests at the ranch-style complex, which sits at the end of a dirt road off a series of winding paved roads in the Sierra foothills.
With its bright-yellow buildings, wind chimes and signs that post rules forbidding weapons, drugs and non-vegetarian food, this place is about as far from professional football as it gets.
It’s also pretty far from the responsibilities that Williams continues to miss as he now appears headed on a road north to Toronto and the Canadian Football League.
As of late this week, the Dolphins were in the midst of working through the CFL rules to make sure Williams, who stands to make roughly $300,000 in Canadian dollars, would be able to get out of a contract with Toronto after one year. The standard CFL contract is for one year and an option with a six-week window in January and February for players to sign with NFL teams.
That might not leave enough time for Williams to get reinstated to the NFL after he’s eligible to apply after next season is complete. Williams has to file paperwork with the NFL to show he should be allowed back in.
Still, the notion that Williams would get stuck in Canada is a bit far-fetched.
“If they don’t think I can negotiate a contract that can get Ricky out of the CFL at the end of one season … I mean, I’ve been doing this for 30 years and have come up with some of the most progressive contract innovations in the history of the league,” said agent Leigh Steinberg, who represents Williams.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Furthermore, this whole affair with Williams is putting a strain on the relationship between Saban and Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga. Not that Huizenga doesn’t fully support Saban, but Saban has now had to go to Huizenga on two occasions to get that support.
The first was a year ago, when Saban was trying to convince Williams to return to the NFL. Huizenga, who was angered by Williams’ retirement in 2004, was initially of the opinion that the Dolphins should go after Williams for every dime of an $8.6 million federal court judgment the team held against him for breach of his contract.
Saban not only convinced Huizenga that it would be a good idea to bring Williams back and hold the judgment in abeyance, but he also convinced the owner to go to the NFL offices. Huizenga spoke with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Williams’ behalf to encourage with league to allow Williams to return a little early for the start of training camp last year.
Now, Saban is speaking to Huizenga after yet another public relations embarrassment involving Williams to convince the owner that it’s acceptable idea for the Dolphins to allow Williams to play in Canada.
Not a good idea, mind you, but an acceptable idea.
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