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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Decisions, decisions

Several people have e-mailed me, informing me that Pat Williams cannot up and leave after the season. The Vikings, for instance, can place the franchise tag on him, limiting his mobility.

This offseason, for instance, the Detroit Lions used the franchise tag on defensive tackle Cory Redding, guaranteeing him a base salary of $6.775 million. Next offseason, that figure could push $8 million.

Added to his $2.65 million base salary this season, Williams would get an average of about $5 million for the two seasons, which seems like a fairly modest bargain for the purple.

But there's a few issues at work. His agent Angelo Wright's comments on Pat's future were pretty firm, which means Williams could be quite a distraction if the team tries to franchise him. Notice all the drama in New England in Chicago with the franchise players they had no intention of signing? Williams could skip all the offseason work, unlike this year, and he could basically show up at training camp to get his handsome paycheck.

Secondly, if the Vikings were turned off by his age in terms of an extension, why would they commit upwards of $8 million for one more season of his services? For a few million more, the Vikings could have locked him up for three years, instead of two, and they would have a player who feels the love.

In addition, it would be highly unlikely for a team to slap a franchise tag on a player who will be 35 next offseason and 36 during the 2008 season.

The Vikings may not want to give him a long-term extension that includes a double-digit guarantee. But if he plays solid this season, would it be all that farfetched to think one team out there might give him the guaranteed money he wants?


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