The discussions never reached what the official termed "a formal stage," in part because of the release of the tapes prior to the San Francisco-New Orleans playoff game last year in which Williams urged his Saints' charges to test the injuries of several 49ers' players. The damning tape, the school executive said, "made (Williams) absolutely toxic," and the discussions never gained traction.
It's not known, of course, whether Williams would have even been interested in such a position – described as more a part-time consulting gig than hands-on coaching – but it would have permitted him to retain some football ties while serving his suspension.
The school even discussed, before the tapes became public, the possibility of examining Williams' deal with the St. Louis Rams to determine if it would have been contractually feasible for him to consider a position.
But the national champions also have some of the most hotly discussed first-round prospects in the talent pool.
Tailback Trent Richardson may be the "safest" player in the entire lottery, and probably will go off the board in the top five, but that hasn't stopped some pundits from debating the merits of choosing a running back so high.
The discussions have been even more intense about Upshaw, who looked to be a sure-fire pick in the top half of the round a month ago, but whose perceived lack of quickness and lateral speed, along with questions about his ability to play outside at such a bulky weight, could prompt him to slide a bit.
And Kirkpatrick, once regarded as competition for Morris Claiborne for the No. 1 cornerback spot, is probably no better than third at the position right now.
On the flip side, Barron is skyrocketing up draft boards and Hightower has held his own as an inside ‘backer, certainly eyed by several 3-4 teams, probably in the middle third of the first round. Said one general manager: "The one thing that no one can (debate) is that all the Alabama kids know how to play football, and they understand the importance of it. Nick (Saban) essentially runs a prep school for the NFL. His guys are always ready to go."
Those clubs appear to be waiting until after the draft and for Benson's price tag to come down to somewhere in the $1 million range. Teams that have discussed Benson internally seem legitimately convinced that he has rehabilitated himself from the work ethic and attitude questions that dogged him early in his career.
But Benson will turn 30, the dread age for runners, by the end of the season. He has averaged 298.3 attempts over the past three seasons as a workhorse in Cincinnati. And in the last two seasons, Benson's average is just 3.7 yards per carry.
In fact, in the five seasons in which Benson logged 150 or more rushing attempts, he's been better than 3.9 yards per carry just one time, when he averaged 4.2 yards in 2009. The former first-rounder will get some play after the draft, but will have to accept a reduced role and a reduced salary as well.
There has been, a member of the Brees camp suggested to The Sports Xchange, further advancement even, but the person cautioned that a deal isn't yet imminent.
"But at least there isn't the kind of (inertia) that existed earlier," said the source, "so that's improvement."
Neither the prolonged contract mess, nor Brees' very public NFLPA role in negotiating player sanctions for the bounty scandal, have yet tarnished his pristine image in The Big Easy.
But both the quarterback and his representatives are aware of that potential. And while it probably won't affect the financial package sought by Brees, one of several "franchised" players who have stayed away from their teams' offseason programs, it's a consideration.