Vikings sign Pro Bowler Pat Williams to three-year extension

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings and defensive tackle Pat Williams finalized a three-year, $22 million contract extension Friday.

Williams, who is guaranteed at least $9.5 million over the duration of the deal that begins in 2008, is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance.

About one month shy of his 35th birthday, Williams said he feels like he gets better every year. He's appreciative of the new security, but said he wasn't worried about playing the season without the promise of a new contract.

"I'm always free-minded," he said. "I just go out there and have some fun."

Coach Brad Childress, who has developed a strong relationship with Williams, was excited that the standout will finish his career with Minnesota. Childress praised the enthusiasm and toughness Williams consistently brings to the "meathouse" that is the interior of the line.

"He just exemplifies what it is to be a professional," Childress said.

Angelo Wright, Williams' agent, said on the first day of training camp that there wouldn't be any more negotiations once the season started. But the Vikings wanted to "take one more stab at the apple," Wright said Friday. Williams conceded he accepted a discount by agreeing to a deal now rather than waiting to test the market in free agency.

"You probably can always make more money, but you're not always going to be happy," Wright said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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