Baltimore Ravens running back Ricky Williams announced Tuesday (February 7) that he’s decided to retire from the NFL after 11 seasons, reports ESPN.
He released a statement about his departure from the game, saying he hopes to enjoy the same adventures in life after the NFL.
“The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life,” Williams said in a statement released by the University of Texas. “I pray that all successive adventures offer me the same potential for growth, success and most importantly fun. I want to thank all my fans, teammates, coaches and supporters for the strength they’ve given me to overcome so much.”
On his Twitter account, Williams added (@RickyWilliams): “Thank you all, but this ain’t it, I’m gonna do something really special. ‘Be you and change the world,’ ”
Williams briefly retired once before in 2004, missing the entire season. He shocked the football world with the announcement, after facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.
He returned in 2005, then left to spend the 2006 season with Toronto of the Canadian Football League.
Williams’ NFL career began when he was picked as the fifth overall choice of the 1999 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, following a successful college stint which culminated with the Heisman Trophy at Texas.
During his NFL carer, he rushed for 10,009 yards and scored 74 touchdowns. Williams is one of just 26 NFL running backs to rush for more than 10,000 yards in a career.
While Williams had five 1,000-yard seasons under his belt, his biggest production came in 2002, when he led the NFL with 1,853 yards rushing as a Miami Dolphin. He was named to the Pro Bowl that season for the only time of his career. He followed in 2003 with a 1,372-yard season, giving the Dolphins their two most productive rushing seasons in the team’s history.
In his last season, he played for the Baltimore Ravens, taking on a backup role behind Ray Rice. Williams finished the 2010-2011 season with 444 yards on 108 attempts and scored two touchdowns.
“I have to thank Coach (John) Harbaugh and the Ravens organization for the opportunity they gave me this year,” Williams said in the statement. “I had so much fun and really appreciated the chance to finish on such a great note.”