In one of the most surprising transactions of the NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles released a player few outside (or even inside) the organization even knew was technically still a part of the franchise. The Eagles announced the release of Bernard Williams on Thursday, a former first-round pick who last played with the team in 1994.
Why was the former first-round pick out of Georgia still on the roster? Technically, he wasn’t.
The Eagles still owned the rights to Williams, who played just one season before being suspended six games in 1995 for marijuana possession. Williams later had a second positive test for marijuana, so he was suspended for the remainder of the 1995 season.
Williams never decided to apply for reinstatement, so he was technically still suspended by the NFL. The Eagles have been through several head coaches and general managers since Williams last played a game for the team. Rich Kotite was the head coach for the 1994 season and Harry Gamble was the general manager. Kotite was fired at the conclusion of the 1994 season and Gamble was fired at the end of the 1995 season, when Williams was still suspended.
Former Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes was the de facto general manager starting in 1996, the year Williams could apply for reinstatement to the league. Williams never applied, so Rhodes and the Eagles front office probably viewed it as an oversight. No use releasing a player if he wasn’t planning to return.
Williams wasn’t getting paid by the team nor getting accrued seasons in. He was just on a suspension list and lasted there, even though he technically still was with the organization. Jeffrey Lurie was still in his infancy as Eagles owner after buying the team in 1994, making wholesale changes to a franchise that was in disarray.
Williams was selected to the NFL All-Rookie Team in 1994, but never played another game in the league. He did return to…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/eagles-release-former-first-round-pick-who-hasnt-played-a-game-for-them-since-1994/
Author : Jeff Kerr
Publish date : 2023-11-17 15:03:14
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