Ricky Williams is a retired American football running back. He played 12 seasons in the National Football League and one season in the Canadian Football League. As an amateur, he played college football for the University of Texas. There, he was a two—time All-American and won the Heisman Trophy. With such a successful career behind, how much is Ricky Williams net worth?
Professional Career Summary
The New Orleans Saints selected Ricky with the fifth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the team under head coach Mike Ditka. At the time, Ditka traded all of the Saints’ remaining draft picks in 1999 to select Williams. Upon the draft, he signed an $8 million-plus signing bonus contract. Many sports agents criticized the deal, saying he could get more in guaranteed money.
Ricky spent three seasons playing in New Orleans. He made his NFL debut with ten carries for 40 yards in a 19-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers. As a rookie, he had 884 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
In 2002, he got traded to the Miami Dolphins for four draft picks, including two in the first round. In the first season with the Dolphins, Williams finished with at least 10 games with 100 rushing yards. He followed that up with 1,372 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns, and 351 receiving yards in his second season.
In 2004, Williams tested positive for marijuana. He got fined $650,000 and got a four-game suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy. With a third positive drug test shortly before the summer, he announced his early retirement on August 2, 2004. He couldn’t play for the 2004 season, so he chose a different occupation.
In 2004, Williams studied Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of holistic medicine. He enrolled at the California College of Ayurveda. Nowadays, he says that his first retirement was the most positive thing he did in his life.
Ricky returned to the Dolphins on July 24, 2005. He paid back a percentage of his signing bonus and finished the four-game suspension. The athlete expressed his apologies at the return press conference. On February 20, 2006, the NFL announced again that Williams violated the drug policy for the fourth time. He got suspended for the entire 2006 season.
At the time, Ricky and his mother said that it was a herb related to his interest in holistic medicine. Before the start of the 2007 season, he adhered to a strict regimen of multiple drug tests per week. This was part of his attempt to enter the NFL again. He also practiced yoga, which helped him to stop using marijuana. He got back to the NFL, but his 2007 season got cut short due to injury.
In 2008, he bounced back nicely, rushing for 659 yards on 160 carries and scoring four touchdowns. He appeared in all 16 games for the Dolphins.
He finally retired after the 2011 season with 10,009 rushing yards and 74 touchdowns in his career. He holds a couple of Dolphins records to this day. Those include:
- Most rushing yards in a season with 1,853 in 2002
- Most rushing touchdowns in a season with 16 in 2002
Ricky Williams net worth is just $3 million. When you look at the amount of money he earned through the years, that number should be higher. He played in the NFL for 11 seasons and one season in the Canadian Football League.
In total, he earned $24 million just from salary in his football career. His highest salary was for the 2011 season when the Dolphins paid him $5.3 million. Nowadays, average running backs make at least $4 million per season. For the 2020 season, Christian McCaffrey is the highest-paid running back. He makes $16 million per season, followed by Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys with $15 million.
We can only assume Ricky Williams would make something like that as well.
Ricky Williams is a medical cannabis advocate. In one interview, he said, “his personal goal is to elevate the legitimacy of cannabis as a medicine and the respect of medical professionals for cannabis users”.
As a young man, he got diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and avoidance disorder. These issues made it harder for him to cope during his football career. He got treated with therapy and medication. This is one of the reasons he used marijuana. He said cannabis is a much better form of treatment.
In one interview, he also said that if weed was legal, he would be the richest athlete. But that is not the case, so Ricky Williams net worth is just $3 million.
He is the son of a minister. Williams got raised Southern Baptist and attended church two times per week during his childhood. Today, he identifies as Christian, but his yoga study opened his mind to other religions as well.
In 2015, he signed with global talent agency William Morris Endeavor for representation in media. He got inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
What does he do now?
During his retirement, Ricky spent time traveling the world and cultivating his experience. He spent time at a yoga ashram where he found out meditation and healing. This is where he discovered that he loved helping people as much as playing football.
The time away from football provided him with space in his life to think outside the box. And think about life after football. Ricky admits that his spiritual life as a healer is more fulfilling. Today, he is a holistic healer and studies evolutionary astrology. The former running back studies other healing modalities as well, including meditation and yoga. In 2018, he launched a line of cannabis-based products called Real Wellness. He also offers herbal remedies.
In one interview, he said “Part of being yourself and not letting other people’s opinions about you change your behavior is being able to tolerate pain, punishment, and rejection. Most people spend the majority of their lives trying to avoiding these things which isn’t actually living. If you’re truly living these things are going to show up. And If you hold your ground, they too shall pass, leaving wisdom behind.