The Minnesota Vikings have signed Kevin Williams to a one-day contract so the veteran defensive tackle can officially announce his retirement as a member of the Vikings on Thursday.
The Vikings chose Williams with the No. 9 overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Williams played in 203 career NFL games with the Vikings, Seattle and New Orleans. He last played for the Vikings in 2013.
"Kevin was one of the most respected players in Vikings history by his teammates and by opponents," said Vikings GM Rick Spielman. "He set a high standard for himself and led by example instead of words. We thank him for everything he gave the Vikings and the legacy he leaves."
As a member of the Vikings, Williams was selected to 6 Pro Bowls -- 2004, '06, '07, '08, '09, and '10. That accomplishment ranks second in Vikings history only behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Alan Page (9) and it matches Hall of Famer John Randle's total.
Additionally, Williams was named All-Pro 5 times, and finished 8th in Vikings history with 60.0 sacks. He even finds himself tied atop a list for defensive touchdown returns with four.
He was one-half of the Williams Wall (along with Pat Williams) that helped the anchor the middle of the Vikings defensive line for several seasons.
During his career, Williams also set some pretty high marks for durability at a physically demanding position. His 171 starts by a Vikings defensive tackle is a team record.
Career Starts by a Vikings DT
- Kevin Williams – 171
- Alan Page – 157
- John Randle – 150
"I had a great time with the Vikings and appreciate them giving me a chance," Williams said in a statement Wednesday. "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."
Additionally, he thanked the Wilf and McCombs families for everything they did for him, and acknowledged some good memories with his teammates.
"I look back on that time we had with Pat [Williams], Jared [Allen], Ray [Edwards] B-Rob [Brian Robison] and Fred [Evans] – I hope we set a standard for how you do things up front."