Williams Talks Heat Up

Talks between the Vikings and Kevin Williams began in earnest Monday. Here is the current lowdown.

When the Vikings had their seemingly annual draft debacle, VU pointed out a key question that wasn't being answered. That question lay at the heart of the negotiations between the Vikings and top pick Kevin Williams.

In their own internal documents and press releases, the Vikings listed Williams as the seventh pick in the draft. The NFL has officially designated him at No. 9, with the asterisk saying the Vikings passed on the seventh and eighth picks.

This will come into question as several factors are converging. While neither side publicly discusses the status of the negotiations, VU has been told by a team source that the basic parameters of the deal have been established, but that the sides are still apart.

Those parameters include whether to consider Williams as the seventh pick or the ninth pick. The best ammunition the Vikings have going is agent Tom Condon, who represents Williams. He also represents Byron Leftwich, who was taken with the No. 7 pick. It will be difficult for Condon to argue that both his clients deserve to be paid from the same draft slot.

Condon is no stranger to the Vikings. He was Chris Hovan's agent coming out of college and the Vikings and Condon were able to conduct marathon negotiating sessions to get a deal done so Hovan missed just one day of training camp.

The problem the Vikings may face is getting Condon's time. With two top 10 contracts to be hammered out in the next week or so, Condon will be dealing both with the Vikes and Jags. Ideally, seeing as lower picks tend to sign before higher ones, expect to see the Vikings on the front burner for the next week. If nothing is done by then, it could get dicey.

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