Ricky's career ends with him at 10,009 yards on 66 touchdowns along with 342 catches for 2,606 yards and eight touchdowns. He finished second to Larry Csonka for most career rushing yards as a Miami Dolphin, and was their best running back since Csonka (cut to many Dolphins fans stating that if only the 'Phins could've had him in the 90s, Marino would have had his ring).
While the numbers are great by any stretch, they're not quite Hall of Fame great.
All time he ranks 26th in rushing yards and 43rd in rushing touchdowns. According to Pro-football-reference.com, his overall career is similar to that of Garrison Hearst, Robert Smith and Sam "Bam" Cunningham—none of those players are currently enshrined in Canton.
Another reason why Williams will likely not get the call from Canton is the controversy surrounding him throughout his career due to his first retirement and multiple suspensions due to drug use.
But while he might not deserve enshrinement in Canton, he does deserve to be honored by the Miami Dolphins by being enshrined in their ring of honor. I wouldn't retire his jersey number—that should be an honor reserved for Hall of Famers. (Sorry, but with the only retired numbers belonging to Hall of Famers Bob Griese, Larry Csonka and Dan Marino, the bar is set pretty high.)
Williams will always be remembered not just among Dolphins fans but throughout the NFL.
His peak on the field was about two years long (and likely two years too short), but he was Miami's offensive MVP in 2002 and 2003—two seasons where Miami didn't make the playoffs (again, due to inconsistency at quarterback), but did have a combined record of 19-13.
He will be remembered more for his actions off the field.
While he was controversial due to his use of marijuana earlier in his career, Williams never got into any other off-the-field trouble and by all accounts has been a model citizen everywhere he's gone. During his time in Toronto and his last two years in Miami, Williams would work part-time as a yoga instructor. He continues to practice Yoga to this day.
Williams was also a rare breed in that he didn't let football become what defined him: He wanted to be fulfilled with life in general and grow as a human being.
This was a sentiment he expressed upon making his retirement announcement on Tuesday via ESPN:
The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life. 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.
I want to especially thank my family, coach Mack Brown, Coach [Mike] Ditka, Coach [Bill] Parcells, Ronnie Brown, Wilbert Montgomery and the Jamail family for believing in me. As for what's next, I am excited about all the opportunities ahead—continuing my education, running The Ricky Williams Foundation and whatever other opportunities present themselves.
My football career has been filled with many great memories going back to pee wee football with coach Tom Miller, [San Diego's] Patrick Henry High School and coach Jerry Varner and on to the University of Texas. It has been a big part of my life and blessed me with so many wonderful opportunities and the chance to connect with many people who have helped me grow and mature.
I will miss the game, the camaraderie, my teammates and especially the emotions of a big victory. I love the game and leave it feeling fulfilled, proud, in great health and excited about the future.
I have to thank Coach [John] Harbaugh and the Ravens organization for the opportunity they gave me this year. I had so much fun and really appreciated the chance to finish on such a great note.
Thank you Ricky, for your years of service to the Miami Dolphins and to your other two teams the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors.