Williams Agrees To Deal

Mike Tice promised Kevin Williams would be at camp when it opens for reporting today in Mankato. VU has been told the deal is done and that, as we speculated, the draft day gaffe was addressed.

Shortly after the draft-day drop of two picks, a VU staffer was part of a radio roundtable discussion about the Kevin Williams situation. His initial response was that, although the Vikes listed him as the seventh pick on all media correspondence, he was the ninth pick and that could be a sticking point in his contract talks.

As it turned out, it was, but VU has been told tonight that the Vikings will announce later Friday that Williams has agreed to a seven-year contract. The final number may be bloated, but here's what we've been told by those who have been privy to the negotiations.

While the contract is seven years in language, it is actually a five-year, $12.5 million deal easily voidable by even less-than-expected playing time incentives. It includes a $8 million signing bonus, $4 million due on signing and a second-tier bonus next year of $4 million more.

The significance of the signing bonus is what stood out and was the bone of contention. It represents more than a 20 percent increase from the No. 9 pick last year -- another DT, Jacksonville's John Henderson. It could skew negotiations for players taken around Williams, but the Vikings have him signed and that's all the matters as he heads for his first NFL training camp.

The bonus serves a compromise between pick No. 7 money and pick No. 9 money, but that was expected once jaws pulled up from the draft-day debacle early that warm April Saturday afternoon.

* Without a lot fanfare, the Vikes announced the signing of punter/kicker Eddie Johnson. If Johnson can prove to the Vikings coaches that he can handle both punting and kickoffs, there could an interesting kicking situation brewing. Gary Anderson remains on Tice's speed dial.

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