When it came out that Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was out for the season because of an Achilles injury, immediately fans started speculating about Ricky Williams possibly being signed as his replacement. Not too soon after, however, Williams signed with the Baltimore Ravens, meaning there was no longer a chance of him joining the Lions.
Williams did consider heading to Detroit, though. Prior to deciding to sign with Baltimore, Williams talked with Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan about the possibility of signing with Detroit. Williams discussed the call and a brief meeting with Linehan after last year's Lions-Dolphins game on the radio today. Williams' comments can be found after the jump (via Dave Birkett).
For me, last year when we played the Lions, Scott Linehan, who was the offensive coordinator here with coach [Nick] Saban, he came up to me after the game, and he said that if you need a home, we'd love to have you on our team. ... I talked to Scott this morning, and he said that if I ended up in Detroit, [I'd get] 15-20 carries a game. And he pointed out that if I went to Baltimore, I might only--[Willis] McGahee only got eight carries a game last year. It was a tough choice for me, but I thought about it and I thought Baltimore, they are an established team, they're a winning organization. But the way I look at it, both places would have been great opportunities for me. But, I chose Baltimore.
Williams ultimately chose the Ravens because they are a "perennial playoff team." While he did say that Detroit would have been a great opportunity, he couldn't pass up the Ravens' offer since they are an "established team." It's disappointing he signed with Baltimore, but it makes sense considering he is nearing the end of his career and went with more of a sure thing. Either way, it's good to know the Lions at least tried to sign him.
The thing that concerns me about this story is that Williams shared what Linehan said after last year's Lions-Dolphins game. Considering Williams was still under contract at the time, the comment could be considered tampering. It seems like an innocent enough thing to say considering it was near the end of the season and Williams previously played for Linehan, but as the whole Chiefs tampering case taught us, the NFL can be pretty ridiculous when it comes to things like this.