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Ricky Williams to play three more seasons

Ricky_2 Ricky Williams, fresh off turning down an interview request with a Herald colleague earlier this week, traveled to Austin, Texas Wednesday for a golf tournament featuring a bunch of Longhorns.

At that event Williams talked to the local newspaper and a couple of local television stations and, in so doing, let everyone in on a little secret: He's playing three more seasons and he's outta here.

Williams apparently plans to play out his current contract which expires after this season, play two more years after that, then hit the road.

"All professional athletes have to come face to face one day with their professional mortality and finding a way to cope with it," Williams told News 8 Austin. "I've managed that. I have a couple or three more years of football left in me and then I'll go off and explore the world after that."

Alrightie then.

Williams will be 31 years old next week -- well into declining age for most NFL running backs -- and it has been a decade since he won the Heisman Trophy. So it could be argued Williams may not have two whole seasons left in him.

But the truth is he carried only six times last year before being injured in his one and only game and he didn't play at all in 2006. So Williams has put very few miles on his legs the last couple of years.

You might remember Williams was suspended after the 2005 season. Certainly Earl Campbell, the dean of Longhorn backs, remembers Williams had problems. But Big Earl believes Williams is over his penchant for flunking drug tests.

"People have problems in life and they get straight," Campbell said at the golf tourney. "[Ricky] got straight ..."

Regardless of whether Williams sees his retirement on the horizon, it is clear the Dolphins have plans for him in 2008. The team hopes to split carries between Williams and Ronnie Brown. But based on the fact Brown is coming off ACL surgery, Williams may actually have to step up as the workhorse early in the season until Brown gets completely comfortable.