Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is entering the final year of his five-year, $33.2 million deal and, as expected, is hoping for a contract extension from the team. It was previously thought the contract included a two-year, $16.76 million team option for 2013 and 2014, but further reports have said that is not true.
Williams is a six-time Pro Bowler and has 54.5 career sacks since being the Vikings’ first round pick in 2003, but he has just six sacks over the past two seasons as nagging injuries (plantar fasciitis, knee) seem to have sapped some his effectiveness. He will turn 32 in August, and he will certainly be motivated to prove he still has a lot left in the tank and is worthy of a contract extension. There was a report earlier in the offseason that Williams had filed a grievance against the Vikings, but the issue was never disclosed and it is unknown if it has been resolved. If the issue has yet to be fixed, contract negotiations could become contentious.
Due to the overdue youth movement the Vikings’ roster has undergone, Williams is now the longest tenured player on the team. It is unknown if that means the team will have little or no interest in keeping him around in 2013 and beyond, but Williams can force their hand by having a big season and returning to Pro Bowl form.