By Anthony Caruso III
Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams has signed a one-year contract with the team. He’ll also formally announce his retirement tomorrow.
With the team, he was an All-Pro player, who was also one of the 50 Greatest Vikings. He was a former first-round pick (9th overall), who played in 203 NFL games, including 193 games in 13 seasons.
“Kevin was one of the most respected players in Vikings history by his teammates and by opponents,” GM Rick Spielman said. “He set a high-standard for himself and led by example instead of words. We thank him for everything her gave the Vikings and the legacy he leaves.”
He started a 171 with the Vikings from 2003 through 2013. Then made eight starts in 16 games with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, before making 14 out of 16 with the New Orleans Saints in his final season in 2015.
With the Vikings, he made six Pro Bowls — and only Hall of Famer Alan Page had more with nine. It’s second in team history and tied with Hall of Famer John Randle.
“Kevin Williams was an established team leader when we bought the Vikings and his presence was crucial to our success,” Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said. “His consistency and durability makes him a Viking for the ages. We wish Kevin and his family all the best as they enjoy retirement.”
He’s eighth all-time in team history with 60.0 sacks — and had 63.0 in his career. He started all nine playoff games, in which he played in, including six with the Vikings and three with the Seahawks, including Super Bowl XLIX.
Williams had 171 starts, which is a record for a defensive tackle in team history. Page had 157, while Randle had a 150.
“I had a great time with the Vikings and appreciate them giving me a chance,” he said. “They drafted a small town kid from Arkansas and the organization, the city, the whole state really, helped raise me into a man. I appreciate them for that and look forward to coming back and doing some things with the team.
“My family loved it in Minnesota and will be back a lot. I really thank the Wilf Family and the McCombs Family for all they did for me. I had some great coaches, got to line up with some great players and we did a lot of good things. I look back on that line with Pat, Jared, B-Rob and Fred — I hope we set a standard for how you do things up front.”
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