Williams could avoid suspension By Joe Schad Saturday, August 07, 2004 HOUSTON — Despite being burned by retiree Ricky Williams, the Dolphins still could get value for the running back, whether they eventually trade or keep his rights. Three league sources said Friday that they expect the league will allow Williams to play next season without facing a four-game suspension he would have suffered this season for violating the league's drug policy. Several attempts Friday for clarification from the NFL regarding Williams essentially being credited for time served was unsuccessful. Your Dolphins Source Latest Post Headlines Williams could avoid suspension Dolphins' Boston out for year Dolphins' Boston injures knee Dolphins camp Dolphins to play in two scrimmages with Texans Get exclusive team insight from Post writer Joe Schad and post a reply. Dol-Fan Forum Critique offseason moves and debate hot issues on the message board. Training Camp Check the schedule for public viewing. • Browse photo gallery Buy, sell Dolphins tickets Get Pro Player seats or post your extras for sale. More Resources • Schedule, team links • Weekly e-mail updates • Dolphins, NFL coverage EMAIL THIS PRINT THIS POPULAR PAGES No team has yet to inquire about Williams' availability, including the Raiders, whom Williams reportedly said he would play for. The Dolphins also are not ruling out the possibility that he could play for them again, though it seems unlikely. Former NFL linebacker Chris Spielman, brother of Dolphins General Manager Rick Spielman, in a Friday morning interview with ESPNews, said the Dolphins are in no rush to fulfill any of Williams' desires. "Let's not kid ourselves," Chris Spielman said. "Ricky quit to smoke dope and be free.... I spoke to my brother and unless he gives back the $8 million or the Raiders give him two first-round draft picks, he ain't letting him play." The Dolphins have placed Williams on the reserve/did not report list and Rick Spielman declined to expand on the situation or whether the organization will attempt to recoup the money. The Dolphins could attempt to recover money in signing bonus and incentives they believe are owed because Williams violated his contract terms. After practice with the Texans on Friday morning, Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt was asked if the team has been taking fewer questions about Williams. "We're really not talking about it much or thinking about it," he said. We're talking about the guys we've got. It's not even a conversation any more with our Miami Dolphins. It is with our media, obviously, but not in the locker room." But former Dolphins tackle Todd Wade, now a Texan, offered his opinion of Williams and it wasn't flattering. Wade said he was surprised at the massive overhaul of the Dolphins' offensive line — which included letting him walk as an unrestricted free agent — because it wasn't all their fault last season. "We didn't get done what we needed to get done," Wade said. "But I thought the offensive line play was down, the running back play was down. It wasn't just the offensive line. There was a lack of communication. It was everybody." So even Williams' play declined last season? "Yeah," Wade said. "I would say so." As for Williams' decision to retire, Wade said: "It's not totally unbelievable because it's Ricky. But for anybody to go on a world tour, that's a lot... As far as the team concept, I don't know that he ever really got it. That might not be his deal." Carey expects to start: Dolphins Coach Dave Wannstedt said rookie top pick Vernon Carey could be moved to guard if he is beaten out by John St. Clair, a move he said would have to occur before the third pre-season game. Carey said Friday that he'll try guard if it's in the best interest of the team, but he prefers tackle and believes he'll start there. "I believe they want me to play this season," Carey said of coaches and management. "That's why they picked me and paid me all this money, they want me to play this year. And they traded up. They want me to play and I'm here." So why isn't Carey working with the first team as Todd Wade once did? "That was a little different scenario," Wannstedt said. "We cut James Brown and he was the starter almost by default. Every other rookie has had to prove himself before we put him in the lineup. And that's what Vernon's going through right now. He needs to earn his spot and I think that makes him a better player. And it's real obvious to the players whenever he reaches that point, when any player does." Jones dehydrated, overweight and fined: The Dolphins fined tight end John Jones for missing the team flight Thursday night. Jones, who bought a coach ticket, said he got lost on his way to the airport in Fort Lauderdale. "Well, that's all part of it," Wannstedt said. "Knowing where to be and be on time. And he was late, so we left. It was really pretty simple. But he's got to pick his game up and get in shape. He didn't come in in the best of shape and conditioning-wise. He's kind of playing catch-up right now and he knows it." Wannstedt, who has criticized Jones for reporting overweight and constantly cramping in practice, said the Dolphins are considering other tight end options. Noteworthy: The Dolphins were outbid by the Jets for offensive lineman Pete Kendall.