John Clayton

Message Board
NFL en español

ESPN Auctions
Tuesday, May 14
Watters will play, but only for a price

By John Clayton

On the field, Ricky Watters was a warrior. To return to the field, though, Watters, like many proud former Pro Bowlers, places a value.

Ricky Watters

Watters, 33, is telling teams that he's retiring unless there is a multi-million dollar deal to sign. His position is not uncommon. Defensive tackles Cortez Kennedy, James Jones, Russell Maryland and others have taken a similar position to Watters, particularly when offers for veterans in their 30s tend to go for the NFL minimum.

Watters has been working out in the Bay Area where he lives and he has not yet filed his retirement papers, said his agent, Ralph Cindrich. Though it's not out of the question that the right offer would bring him out of retirement, he's going to proceed without the NFL.

Watters has had a remarkable 10-year career with the 49ers, Eagles and Seahawks. He rushed for 10,643 yards on 2,622 carries. He's caught 467 passes for 4,248 yards.

One factor in his decision-making is it has been difficult for Watters to fly on commercial airlines after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks on the United States. Colts halfback Edgerrin James has also been a less frequent air traveler since them.

At least six teams have shown an interest in signing Watters, but trying to get him to make a visit hasn't been easy. At one point, he asked for a private jet to take him to a team. It wasn't because he was trying to be extreme in demands. The reason for the concerns is flying on a commercial airline in an age of terrorism and high security.

The Bucs and Browns were a couple of the teams that showed the most interest in Watters.

 More from ESPN...
John Clayton Archive

 ESPN Tools
Email story
Most sent
Print story