Ricky Williams will have a new number to go with his new football jersey.
Williams, who wore jersey No. 34 in the National Football League with the New Orleans Saints and then the Miami Dolphins, will wear No. 27 with the Toronto Argonauts, who signed him to a contract yesterday.
"In answer to that question of why, I said why not?" he said. "When I returned to the Dolphins last year after (taking) a year off from football (to explore the world), I had a chance to really mature and grow as a human being. I wanted number 27 last year (to signify his birth year), but the NFL doesn't allow you to change numbers if you're with the same team, especially if you're a big-name player because of marketing and they have a lot of jerseys."
Argos president Keith Pelley jokingly figured there was a different reason.
"His favourite Leaf was Darryl Sittler," Pelley said.
The addition of Williams gives the Argos a plethora of feature tailbacks. John Avery, a former first-round player with the Dolphins, is in his third year with the team, hoping to finally break out after two injury-plagued seasons. His backup, Canadian, Jeff Johnson, did well in some starting roles last year.
"We've brought Ricky Williams here with intention of playing him," head coach Pinball Clemons said. "There will be very few times, if ever, where we'll have both Ricky and John Avery on the field at the same time. There will be some challenges.
"We talked to John and he certainly has to sort things out on his own, but in our mind John Avery is a Toronto Argonaut and will continue to be so. Any changes to that will be his decision, not ours."