Four years ago, the Vikings boasted a defense line consisting of Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, and Ray Edwards.
Now, they’re all gone.
Ray Edwards washed out of the league after signing a big-money deal in Atlanta, Pat Williams retired while the StarCaps case was pending, Jared Allen will sign elsewhere, and now Kevin Williams has been rendered unnecessary after the Vikings signed three defensive tackles in free agency.
Following the arrival of Tom Johnson on Wednesday and Corey Wootton on Thursday, Kevin Williams told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the 2003 first-round selection won’t be back in 2014.
A starter in all 11 seasons, Williams said the team’s approach “speaks for itself.” But he expressed no disappointment or unhappiness about the team’s decision.
“I put in a lot,” Williams said. “I gave it all I had when I was there. I have no regrets.”
Williams also said he has no offers from other teams, but that he hopes to keep playing.
His departure from Minnesota comes with far less drama than his arrival. Back in April 2003, the Vikings held the seventh overall pick in the draft. They were trying to swing a trade with the Ravens, who held the 10th pick, so that Baltimore could draft quarterback Byron Leftwich. The time ran out on Minnesota’s pick, and the Jaguars promptly leapfrogged Minnesota, taking Leftwich. The Panthers then pounced on tackle Jordan Gross before the Vikings could select Williams with the ninth pick.