Keeping the Band Together

The Vikings got another pressing contract issue taken care of Saturday, inking Kevin Williams to a long-term contract extension.

When the Zygi Wilf-Brad Childress era of Vikings history began putting its own stamp on the franchise in January, it was clear there were solid goals in mind.

The first happened Jan. 1 when head coach Mike Tice was fired and shortly thereafter Childress was brought into the fold. The next step in that process was free agency, where the Vikings were aggressive in adding talent, highlighted by Chester Taylor and Steve Hutchinson.

But it is clear that the Vikings aren't going to allow their top talent to slip away. Just a week after signing E.J. Henderson to a long-term deal and a month after hooking up Bryant McKinnie, the Vikings have done the same with Kevin Williams.

The Vikings have made an official announcement, but VU has been told that the deal is a seven-year extension worth up to $50 million. The deal also includes $16 million in guaranteed money.

With Williams and Henderson now off the market, the Vikings have just two major free agents remaining to deal with on defense. Napoleon Harris is the only starting unrestricted free agent the Vikings have remaining unsigned. Darrion Scott is a restricted free agent, meaning that if the Vikings tender him with a first-round pay raise, any team that might try to sign him away via free agency would have to pay up a first-round draft pick in return.

* Barring a huge day by the Vikings or Rams offenses, a least a couple of team records are going to be set next Sunday. The Rams will need to rush for almost 200 yards to prevent the Vikings from setting a modern-era record for least amount of rushing yards allowed. However, the Vikings are likely to set a pair of dubious team records. They will need to have 28 first downs Sunday to keep from setting a franchise low for first downs in a season. They currently have 255 first downs and the old record is 283 set in 1993. The team will also need to have three passing touchdowns to prevent setting a new team-low of 15 passing touchdowns in 1993.
* The battle for the first overall pick continues to rage as the Raiders dropped to 2-13 Saturday night with a hideous performance against the Chiefs in a 20-9 loss. The Lions look to add their own chapter to that pathetic saga today when they're likely to get crushed by the Bears.
* In a bizarre staged protest, with 8:57 to play in the second quarter today, fans are going to protest the Matt Millen regime by walking out of the game en masse at the same time. A similar protest walk-out was held last year, but it didn't get Millen fired.
* For those of you on the road or heading on the road today and tomorrow, all of us at VU want to wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend spent with family and friends.

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