The Philadelphia Eagles released offensive tackle Bernard Williams on Thursday, although he has not played for them since 1994.
The Birds selected Williams in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft, and he was named to the league’s All-Rookie team that season. However, that was also the last time he’d suit up in the NFL.
He tested positive for marijuana the following July, prompting a six-game suspension. Three months later, he again registered a positive test, which led to him being suspended for the remainder of the season.
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Bernard Williams, #74 of the Philadelphia Eagles, in position during a football game against the Washington Redskins on October 30, 1994, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The Eagles won 31-29. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Williams could have returned for the 1996 season and beyond, but he never applied for reinstatement. So, he technically had been a suspended member of the Eagles this entire time.
He was the 14th selection in that draft out of Georgia, and he started all 16 games in his lone NFL season. He took six years off from football before playing in the Canadian Football League in 2000.
A general view of the Philadelphia Eagles logo against the Miami Dolphins at Lincoln Financial Field on October 22, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Williams also spent time with the XFL and in the Arena Football League before again playing in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts from 2003 and 2006. He was a member of the 2004 Grey Cup championship team.
His last NFL game was also Rich Kotite’s final game with the Eagles. Just 13 current Eagles had been born when Williams last played.
Offensive lineman Bernard Williams of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The Eagles won the game, 40-8. (Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr./Allsport)
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Williams is now technically a free agent at the age of 51.