Defensive tackle Pat Williams will officially retire as a member of the Vikings after signing a one-day contract on Thursday, general manager Rick Spielman said.
The 40-year-old Williams played 14 NFL seasons, and some of his best work came with Minnesota, with whom he played for 2005 through 2010. Pat Williams and Kevin Williams gave the Vikings one of the better interior line tandems of the previous decade.
“He’s one of the great all-time leaders and great all-time players here for the Minnesota Vikings,” Spielman said Tuesday of Pat Williams, who made three Pro Bowls with the Vikings.
Pat Williams played collegiately at Texas A&M and went undrafted in 1997, signing with Buffalo. After playing reserve role for his first four NFL seasons, the 6-3, 317-pound Williams would enter the starting lineup in 2001. He was a regular for four seasons with Buffalo before moving on to Minnesota. Pat Williams has not appeared in an NFL game since 2010.
When out of football in 2011, a two-game suspension given to Pat Williams for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs passed, a quiet ending to a long legal fight involving a tainted diet drug. In 2011, Pat Williams told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he spent nearly $1 million in legal fees in his defense.