Ricky to find out today

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

It's either Argo or no-go for Ricky Williams,

The superstar running back will find out today whether he's an Argonaut or an Argo-not because the Canadian Football League team formally will announce it has signed him or has decided he's no longer in its plans.

While the Argos are not commenting, one source suggested it will be one option or the other but likely not a situation of allowing the saga to drag on indefinitely. With training camp almost a week old, the first pre-season game this Friday and the impact the whole Williams situation has had on the team, the Argos ownership and management apparently are ready to make a move one way or the other.

The Argos' Fan Day is today, and whether or not Williams is signed it will be the topic du jour.

There had been speculation the Argos were going to announce Williams' signing yesterday, but continued legal issues combined with various lawyers being involved and the coming U.S. holiday weekend collectively acted as impediments.

Williams and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, have been in town for several days and already have met with the team's owners and president. But nothing can progress because the Miami Dolphins, whom Williams is under contract to for two more years, won't give their seal of approval.

Steinberg repeatedly has said that Dolphins coach Nick Saban is concerned that Williams could sustain an injury. It has been suggested the Dolphins are worried about how they would be perceived publicly if Williams hurt himself playing in the CFL after they had given their blessing.

It also has been speculated Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga is not fond of giving in to Williams after he quit the team in 2004 when slapped with a four-game suspension by the NFL for his third substance abuse violation. The Dolphins sued Williams, forcing him to play in 2005, He's under suspension for the 2006 season for his fourth substance abuse violation, which he unsuccessfully appealed last month. That's when the Argos put him on their negotiation list.

Another issue, which is either legitimate or nothing more than a red herring to stall the situation, is the Dolphins' angst that if Williams plays in the CFL this season he could be forced to play another season north of the border. All contracts contain a standard option-year clause, and even though the Argos have indicated in writing they won't exercise the added year, the Dolphins apparently are worried another CFL team will create an unforeseen problem.

This is a precedent-setting matter. While the NFL and CFL entered into an agreement in 1997 allowing CFL players entering their option years to sign with an NFL team for a two-month period after the CFL season ends, this is a different matter. This is the first time an NFL player under current contract is trying to play in the CFL for a year and then return to the NFL with the team owning his existing contract.

And the fact it's Williams, who is one of the pre-eminent running backs currently playing in the NFL, has made this an international story.

CFL-NFL CONNECTION

- Some of the biggest names that went from the NFL to the CFL (with Canadian team in parentheses):

QB Vince Ferragamo (Montreal)

WR Billy (White Shoes) Johnson (Mtl)

WR Fred Biletnikoff (Montreal)

DE Dexter Manley (Ottawa)

RB Terry Metcalf (Toronto)

RB Anthony Davis (Toronto)

QB Doug Flutie (B.C./ Calgary /T.O.)

DE Mark Gastineau (B.C.)

RB Lawrence Taylor (Montreal)

WR Andre Rison (Toronto)

RB Eric (The Flea) Allen (Toronto)

- Some of the biggest NFL first-rounders that broke in with the CFL:

LB Tom Cousineau (Montreal)

DT Bruce Clark (Toronto)

WR Rocket Ismail (Toronto)

DB Tim Anderson (Toronto)

QB Joe Theismann (Toronto)

RB Johnny Rodgers (Montreal)


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