EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings entered the offseason with an aging — and high-priced — core of veteran defensive leaders.
Defensive tackle Kevin Williams, Minnesota’s longest-tenured player, has alleviated some of those financial concerns as he enters his 11th season since being the Vikings’ first-round draft pick in 2003. According to NFL Players’ Association filings, Williams agreed to lower his 2013 salary from $7 million to $4.9 million.
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ESPN1500.com reported that the $4.9 million is guaranteed and includes a $100,000 workout bonus, which will save Minnesota $2.5 million in salary cap space.
Williams is all but ensured of remaining in the middle of the Vikings’ defensive line given the restructure and guarantee, but the NFLPA filing now shows Williams’ deal, which had been through the 2014 season, will now end after this season. Williams’ was scheduled to make $7 million in 2014 in the final year of his contract.
The high prices along the defense cost the Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield, who was cut in March to save the $7.5 million left on his contract. Minnesota had hoped to resign its leader in the secondary, but he agreed to a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks last week after deciding between Seattle and the Vikings.
Three of Minnesota’s starters on the defensive line — defensive Jared Allen, who is due $14.28 million in the final year of his contract, Williams and defensive end Brian Robison — have deals that expire after next season. Backup defensive end Everson Griffen is also signed only through 2013.