Williams to End Career with Vikings?

The Vikings have spent most of their contract money the last six months in making sure they keep their own players under contract. Pat Williams might be the next name added to that list.

The Vikings realize what a difference having a massive nose tackle like Pat Williams can make to a run defense. Wednesday Brad Childress acknowledged Williams' contribution and said the team is looking to extend Big Pat's contract.

Williams, who is entering the final year of a three-year, $13 million deal, has stated publicly in the past that he loves playing in Minnesota and would like to end his career as a Viking. Childress, who admitted at first he wasn't a huge fan of Williams – going to the point of forcing Williams to practice or condition alone at training camp after "suspending" him for coming to camp overweight – has bought into the impact he can make on the field.

With the Vikings making so few moves offensively in free agency, it will be up to the defense to keep the team in most games and Williams will be a big part of those plans.

THURSDAY NOTES
* Erasmus James may still be facing a long recovery from a second surgery to his injured knee that removed scar tissue. If James is a question mark, the Vikings may once again be looking at the possibility of taking a defensive end in the first round of the draft.
* Darrion Scott isn't happy with the tender offer the Vikings made him, which is the lowest tender a player can receive. There had been talk of a contract extension back in February, but as of now, there have been no recent talks and Scott is expected to accept the $850,000 tender.
* ESPN is showing little to no love for the Vikings. In their Sportsnation portion of their website, they rank from No. 1 to No. 122 the professional sports teams from football, baseball, basketball and hockey. The Vikings finished at No. 119, ahead of only the New York Knicks, the Raiders and the Lions. Among the biggest black marks was the Metrodome, which finished dead last as a stadium/arena venue. The Metrodome also was a black eye for the Twins, who finished 14th overall among the franchise rankings despite having the 120th ranking for a stadium. The paragraph devoted to the Vikings, who were No. 90 in the same poll last year, closed by saying, "Now fans get to pay the league's fifth-highest ticket price to watch a losing team they hate in a place they hate." Maybe a little hyperbole has been thrown in, but it likely isn't too far from the truth.
* Brad Johnson has a new job with the Cowboys. Last year, despite being the starting quarterback, Tony Romo was the holder for field goals and extra points. His botched hold of a field goal attempt late in the Cowboys playoff game with the Seahawks cost them the game. Johnson has replaced him as the holder for the Cowboys this season.
* By a vote of 26-5-1, NFL owners voted to impose a five-yard penalty for any player who spikes the ball on a play other than a touchdown. The move is designed to stop the rash of players celebrations after things as pedestrian as converting first downs.
* The Metrodome might be good for something after all. After citing that so many teams use silent counts to respond to deafening crowd noise, the league owners eliminated the longstanding rule that would allow a quarterback to not snap the ball because of excessive noise. Now if a QB can't hear, too bad. Snap the ball anyway.
* Part of the adoption of the instant replay permanentization was to include the "down by contact" provision – added just last year – to the list of plays that can be challenged and reviewed.
* A proposal by the Bears to increase the active game roster to 47 players was defeated by a vote of 17-15. The measure needed 24 yes votes to pass.

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