Argos expected to pop question

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

There might be a breakthrough in the Argos' attempt to take a run at running back Ricky Williams.

Argos president Keith Pelley is expected to call the Miami Dolphins today to seek permission to talk to Williams.

There had been rumours yesterday the Dolphins were going to give the Argos their blessing, but that proved premature.

"I thought we might get a better indication," Pelley said. "It's a complicated issue. Ricky Williams is an elite athlete. There are many actors that go into the decision."

It's been 17 days since Toronto put Williams on its negotiation list. He is under suspension in the National Football League for the 2006 season for violating the substance abuse policy for a fourth time. But he is under contract to the Dolphins for two more years.

Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, has been talking repeatedly on the Argos behalf to Dolphins' president Bryan Wiedmeier. A source said Williams clearly wants to pursue playing in the CFL and has told that to Dolphins' head coach Nick Saban. But the team continues to have concerns about the possibility of an injury.

While the Dolphins have had the NFL draft and their rookie mini-camp to concern themselves with the past two weeks, at any point they could have nixed the idea of Williams playing in the CFL.

"The process is sort of moving along," Steinberg said. "We don't have permission yet. The beat goes on."

One source speculated that the Dolphins could agree to let the Argos talk to Williams, but that wouldn't necessarily mean he'll be playing for the team. He'd still have to convince Argos owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon and Pelley that he is past his dope-smoking ways and is prepared to be a role model and speak up against drugs.

"I would think that is a positive message to the kids of Toronto," Sokolowski said. "If he could help us to win a championship this season and could present a different image, then it all nets out to a positive thing."


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