Pat Williams is, as head coach Brad Childress would say, "a willing worker," but he would like to continue working for the Vikings for years to come.
Williams, who will turn 35 in October, is in the final year of a three-year deal he signed before the 2005 season. In 2007, he is scheduled to make $2.65 million in base salary.
"I'm not worried about (the contract). They like me here," Williams said when asked about having only one year left on his current deal. But he and his agent have been talking with the Vikings to try to get an extension.
"I'm always talking to Childress," Williams said. "He told me to keep talking to him. He told me how he feels about it and I told him how I feel about him. I told him I'm going to keep working. I'm not holding out of training camp or nothing. I'm going to come to work every day and have fun."
For his part, Childress said he wants to see Williams with the Vikings beyond 2007 and is confident that will happen as well.
"I am (confident). Pat knows how I feel about him. He's a meat and potatoes guy, he's a no-nonsense guy, he always shows up. … Coaches always appreciate that," Childress said.
That strong relationship didn't always appear to be there. In Childress' first training camp as head coach of the Vikings last year, Williams was set aside and not allowed to participate at the outset of training camp. The Vikings determined that Williams wasn't in good enough condition to take part in the more strenuous two-a-day sessions and he spent the first week of training camp running conditioning drills on the sidelines.
It didn't sit well initially with Williams, but he and Childress seem to have gained a mutual respect for each other in the time since.
"I told Childress I had his back no matter what. I had his back all year and I told him the same thing this year," Williams said.
Williams took the training-camp challenge to heart and went on to have a Pro Bowl season, the first of career. However, he has said in the past that he didn't consider 2007 his best year. He dealt with knee problems in 2006, and spent time resting them last week during organized team activities for a couple days before returning to the practice regimen.
Despite the conditioning issue in training camp and occasional knee issue, Williams correctly says that the cranky knees haven't affected his playing time.
"It just flamed up, but there's nothing wrong with it. They know I ain't missed no games since I've been playing and I always play hard," he said.
He hasn't missed a game since coming to the Vikings, and it's been since 2001 that he has missed any time. Now he's just hoping to extend that streak beyond 2007.
Pat Williams Addresses Contract Situation
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