Earlier this offseason, former Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end Jared Allen signed a one-day contract with the team so that he could announce his retirement as a member of the purple and gold. Now, one of his running mates on the Minnesota defensive line for many years has chosen to end his outstanding career in the same manner.
Per numerous sources on social media, defensive tackle Kevin Williams has signed a one-day deal with the Vikings and will officially announce his retirement tomorrow.
Williams’ career with the Vikings got off to a bit of a rocky start, as he was the player that the Vikings selected after they "passed" on the #7 selection. . .and the #8 selection. . .in the 2003 NFL Draft. Honestly, if the Vikings could get a player the caliber of Kevin Williams with their first round pick every year, I wouldn’t care if they passed on half a dozen other players.
Williams played very well over the course of his rookie contract, and before the 2007 season he signed a mammoth (at the time) seven-year, $50 million contract to stay in Minnesota. 2007 marked the second season that he and Pat Williams teamed up to form the famed "Williams Wall" in the middle of the Minnesota defense. The pair paced the Vikings’ defense to be #1 against the run for three consecutive seasons. It was also the second of four consecutive All-Pro nods for Williams, who was named First Team All-Pro each year from 2006 to 2009. (He also made it in 2004.)
Kevin Williams spent the first eleven years of his career with the Vikings, collecting 60 sacks, eight forced fumbles, five interceptions, and four defensive touchdowns. . .two on interceptions and two on fumble recoveries. He moved on after the 2013 season, signing with the Seattle Seahawks. He had a shot at a Super Bowl ring that season, but the Seahawks ultimately fell to the New England Patriots in that year’s big game. He played the 2015 season with the New Orleans Saints.
Kevin Williams was one of the truly dominant defensive linemen of his era, and while he’s not going to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player or anything, his name should certainly be mentioned in the debate for years to come. He was a five-time All-Pro (a very different thing from being a Pro Bowler, an honor which seemingly goes to half the league today), and was always in the conversation of the top defensive tackles in the NFL during his career. His case will be an interesting one to watch going forward.
Congratulations to Kevin Williams on hanging it up after a very successful NFL career.