Do you guys remember how Kevin Williams came to Minnesota?
It was the infamous 2003 draft where the Vikings ran out of time on the clock. According to then coach Mike Tice, they were working a trade with Baltimore, but didn't get the trade in on time to the NFL. Or Baltimore screwed over the Vikes, depending on what side of the story you want to believe. Anyway, the clock ran out, and two teams ran up to the podium to make a selection before the Vikings got up there to select Williams.
It was about the last bad play Williams was associated with as a Viking.
When free agency opened up, there were two long time veterans on the defensive line that had really cloudy futures with the team--Jared Allen and Williams. I had a feeling that either both would be back, or neither would be back. But on the eve of free agency, Kevin Williams was told that he was wanted back by the team, and bringing him back for one more year seemed like something that most fans approved of. But when the Vikings struck early in free agency and signed Linval Joseph, the odds of Williams coming back got longer, and as each day passed with a new signing on the defensive line, those odds grew longer. But there was still a glimmer of hope that he might find a way back in 2014.
Sadly, that no longer looks like an option that is on the table, at least according to Williams.
Since the free agent signing period began, the Vikings have re-signed or signed five players, including two--Tom Johnson and Corey Wooten--yesterday. With those signings, it gives the Vikings 11 players on the defensive line, to include six defensive tackles. It would seem that Williams, who is 33, has been crowded out.
If that's the case, Williams will end his career as one of the best defensive tackles in Vikings history. He is a six time Pro Bowler, five team First Team All-NFL, and anchored what became the best Vikings defensive line since the days of Keith Millard, Henry Thomas, and Chris Doleman. The 'Williams Wall', as that group became known as, was one of the most dominant lines in the NFL, finishing at or near the top of the league in run defense. In his 11 year career, he has 60 sacks, and has missed only five games.
As to Williams' future and where he might end up, I have yet to hear of a team that has any interest in him. I think it would be premature to call his career over, as he can still be effective in a reduced role.
Unfortunately, that role won't be in Minnesota anymore.