Williams Signing Continues Extension Trend

The Vikings have made a habit of signing their best players to contract extensions before they hit the open market. Pat Williams is another example of that, and the big defensive tackle is happy to stay in Minnesota.

For the second consecutive year, the Vikings will sign one of their top linemen to a contract extension in the days before the season opener.

Last year, left tackle Bryant McKinnie received a seven-year contract worth $48.5 million ($18 million in bonuses) two days prior to the Vikings' first game in Washington. On Friday, Pro Bowl nose tackle Pat Williams is expected to sign a three-year extension that is worth approximately $22 million and included a minimum of $9.5 million in guaranteed money.

He would have the potential to earn additional income based on the incentives in the contract.

Williams, who will turn 35 next month, was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season and might have given the Vikings a bit of a discount. But he is clearly all right with that.

"I'm at home now, I call this home," Williams said.

Williams, entering his 11th NFL season and coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, is entering the final year of a $13 million, three-year contract he signed as a free agent in March 2005.

Last season, the 6-3, 330-pound Williams combined with Kevin Williams to form one of the best defensive tackle tandems in the NFL and help the Vikings' lead the league in rushing defense.

"It was great to stay here because I love playing beside Kevin," Pat Williams said. "I didn't want to go nowhere. I just want to be here playing beside Kevin."

Williams said he plans to make this contract the final one year of his career.

The impending agreement comes just over a month after Williams' agent ended negotiations with the Vikings when the two sides could not agree on guaranteed money.

"Everything is great now," Williams said. "So I don't have to worry about packing my bags and leaving. It's straight home all Purple and Gold."

The move also continues the Vikings' trend of locking up players before they hit free agency. During the course of last season, the Vikings signed six players to extensions, including Kevin Williams. He received a seven-year contract worth $50 million, including $16 million in bonuses, on Dec. 23.

NOTES

  • S Mike Doss missed another day of practice Thursday because of a calf injury and almost certainly will not play Sunday against Atlanta.

  • LB Vinny Ciurciu was limited for a second consecutive day as the team continues to be cautious with the broken finger on his left hand.

  • WR Robert Ferguson also was limited again because of an ankle injury.

  • It remains uncertain whether Artis Hicks or Anthony Herrera will start at RG on Sunday but Hicks seems to be the favorite.

  • Ryan Cook almost certainly will start at RT on Sunday; Marcus Johnson, who has been competing for the job, missed Thursday's practice to tend to personal matters.

  • QB Brooks Bollinger is listed second on the depth chart for Sunday's game ahead of newcomer Kelly Holcomb. It's expected that Holcomb eventually will inherit the backup job once he gets up to speed on the Vikings offense.


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