Vikes Take Tag Off Williams

With hours remaining before free agency finally begins, Brian Williams got his wish and can play the field.

It was clear at the end of the 2005 season that Brian Williams was looking forward to moving on. When questioned by VU after the season finale, Williams said he thought he would spend his entire career with the Vikings, but that no longer seemed to be the case.

So imagine Williams' surprise when the Vikings slapped him with the transition free agent tag last month. By doing so, the Vikings agreed to pay him $4.4 million in 2006 -- even though Williams agent hinted he didn't want the tag put on and likely wouldn't sign it.

That point became moot Friday when the Vikings lifted the transition tag from Williams -- adding $4 million more to their growing stockpile of available cash and making Williams an unrestricted free agent at midnight.

VU has been the told that the Packers, Dolphins and Rams have already expressed an interest in making a run at Williams in free agency.

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