Vikings first-round draft choice, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, came to mini-camp in prime shape. And while there is a limit to what you can discover about a guy when the practices are sans pads, Williams made enough of an impression -- both with his quickness and his work ethic -- that coach Mike Tice is said to be intent on not allowing another holdout this year.
Of course, that's not all up to him. It's up to owner Red McCombs, who will sign the checks, to director of football operations Rob Brzezinski, who will negotiate for the Vikings, and William's agent, Tom Condon.
Getting a deal done won't be easy. Condon is a tough negotiator. And then there is the matter of which slot, money-wise, Williams will be fit into.
You remember the routine. The Vikings allowed the clock to expire on their No. 7 pick, allowing two teams to jump in front of them before finally taking Williams at No. 9. Now, the Vikings said Williams was their guy all along, that they were only trying to trade down to 10 to get both Williams and a couple draft picks.
So where does he get paid? At No. 7, where the Vikings were slotted to pick, or at No. 9, where he actually was picked? Condon didn't waste much time coming out and saying he intended to try to get Williams no. 7 money -- even though the actual No. 7 pick, Byron Leftwich, is his client as well.
This process will not be easy, but look for it to get done. Insiders are saying there is a good chance the two sides will end up compromising at money commesurate with the No. 8 pick overall. In any event, Tice has made it clear that his team cannot come out of the gate strong with another key player holding out; last year's stumble out of the gate, which was made worse by injuries along the offensive line, doomed Tice's first season as head coach.
Negotiations should begin in earnest shortly after the Vikings front office staff returns from vacation following the July 4 holiday.
|#93 Kevin Williams|