Remember last year, when a testy negotiation turned into
a half-season-long holdout by
Here's what it will boil down to: Whether Williams should be paid as a No. 7 overall pick, or as a No. 9 overall pick.
You all remember what happened during the draft, when
the Vikings tried, but failed, to work a deal with
Well, the Vikings were quick to point out that Williams -- a rangy, quick, pass-rushing defensive tackle -- was their top target all along, whether he was taken with the No. 7 pick or at No. 9, where the Vikings wound up.
Guess what Williams' agent, Tom Condon, thinks about that?
Condon wasted little time projecting his point of view. Just a day after the draft Condon said, in an interview with ESPN, that No. 7 is his target.
"I'm going to do my best to get him a deal as if he was the seventh choice," Condon said. "I mean, they're the ones who said they were going to take him at the seventh spot, right?
Let the positioning begin.
But one thing to note: Condon also represents quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was the actual No. 7 pick. How can the same agent demand No. 7 money for both of his clients? Know this: It's going to be hard to nudge the Vikings away from their belief that Williams should be slotted right where he ended up, at No. 9.
The difference is substantial, about $3 million in guaranteed money. The Vikings have kept mum on the upcoming negotiations. But the pieces seem set in place for another round of contentious negotiations. Remember, this is the Vikings. A team playing in the Metrodome, which puts the Vikings near the bottom of the NFL's money stream. Owner Red McCombs, frustrated with the lack of momentum towards a new stadium, has his team on the block. Indeed, insiders say the whole draft day snafu was caused when McCombs and team president Gary Woods put enormous pressure to try to trade down in order to save money.
McCombs isn't going to crack his wallet easily. Condon, one of the most successful agents in the business, isn't going to bend easily. Last year McKinnie held out for 98 days before signing. Are the Vikings headed down the same road?