The Ryan Williams era withe the Arizona Cardinals officially came its end on Monday, when the team released him and three other players.
It was not unexpected, as he was inactive for all 16 games last season. For some fans, it is a relief and for others it just raises more questions.
Williams actually opened up about the release and his tenure with the team. Speaking with ESPN reporter Josh Weinfuss, he said that it "was like seeing Bigfoot." Williams was caught completely off guard by the move.
His comments were a mix of bitterness, disappointment and resignation to the machine that the NFL is. "I had meetings with coaches after the season and I was told something totally different than what happened [Monday].," he said. "Quite frankly, I don’t like being told something that doesn’t happen."
Williams' first season ended in the preseason with a torn patella tendon. His second year ended five game into the season with a shoulder injury. His third season just never got off the ground.
In the story written by Weinfuss, Williams goes back to 2012 with his disappointment. He said that he was rushed back before he was ready. If you recall, the Cardinals spent the offseason without either Williams or Beanie Wells, who had a knee surgery. He said that the trainers and coaches knew he should not have been out there. He holds to the fact that he was fortunate to have hurt his shoulder because it could have been his knee.
The part that will make you scratch your head was how things played out in 2013. He never played and, according to him, was fantastic and healthy on the practice field. "It was filthy and I was back," he said. "And everybody knew I was back."
So why is he no longer on the team? Essentially, there was a mix of naivete, deceit and distrust. If everything is to be believed, Williams was naive to think that things would just work out. Clearly Bruce Arians does not trust him and doesn't think he is an improvement over anyone on the team. Williams lost that trust when he would not practice with pain when the team doctors said there was nothing structurally wrong with his knee.
If the coaches continued to give Williams the impression that he was going to get his shot in 2014, then there was deceit, or at least miscommunication.
It looks like Arians won this battle. It was evident that Williams was around only because Steve Keim wanted him. Arians refused to play him. With Williams due to make more than $1 million this season, it made no sense to keep him if he never was going to play.
For some, this story ends but it is not satisfying. Many feel like he never got a fair shot. Others simply view him as yet another early draft running back bust. There is a long list here -- Anthony Thompson, Beanie Wells, Leeland McElroy, among others.
The good thing is, if he is healthy, he will get a shot. If he stays healthy, then he can be what so many believe he can be. There are flashes of "special."
What do you think of the release and ensuing comments by Williams? Is he being fair? Was he mishandled? Does he have a future and do you hope he succeeds elsewhere? If he does, will you be upset at this organization and at the Arians staff specifically?
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