Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams hopes to remain with the team next season, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. Williams is set to become a free agent after the season concludes and the new league year begins.
It's going to be an odd feeling for Williams, as he's spent 11 seasons with the team, and is the longest-tenured player on the roster. He'll likely hit free agency for the first time of his career in March. But he wants to re-sign with the Vikings, saying that he wants to "play a couple more years," but added that it's "totally up to the Vikings."
The Vikings recently hired long-time NFL defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to be the new head coach after firing Leslie Frazier this offseason. Williams would definitely want to play for Zimmer, but as noted in the piece above, he's tempering his excitement due to his uncertain future.
Unfortunately for Williams, the Vikings also have defensive end Jared Allen set to hit the open market and it's uncertain what's going to happen with him. Williams earned $4.9 million last season, but it's unclear if he'll be making that kind of money going forward. His best years do seem behind him at 33 years old, but he can definitely still play.
Aside from Williams, there are a few high-profile defensive tackles set to hit the market. Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, both of the Miami Dolphins, are set two of those names. Starks was paid almost $8.5 million per year on his current contract, while Soliai makes $5.7 million per. Henry Melton of the Chicago Bears should also see action before Williams at this point.
Williams could definitely be considered the fourth-best defensive tackle on the market behind those three. But his age will prevent many teams from giving him the contract for which he'll be looking. A pay cut, but two or three years in Minnesota, sounds like it might be his best hope. Stay tuned on if he fits into their future plans.