Vikings: Williams more doubtful of return

MINNEAPOLIS -- As the days go by and the Minnesota Vikings attend to other needs on their roster, Kevin Williams grows more and more skeptical he'll have a chance to return to the team for a 12th season. His agent has talked with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, who's made it clear to Williams' camp and said again last week the Vikings would leave open the possibility of bringing him back.

But as Williams has paid attention to the Vikings' moves from his home in Little Rock, Ark., this offseason, he's not sure if there will be room for him on the roster.

When the Vikings signed nose tackle Linval Joseph last week, it "kind of made it slim pickings" for them to bring Williams back, he said on Wednesday. Joseph figures to line up as a nose tackle, but the Vikings appear set to make another move that could reduce the chance of a Williams reunion even further. According to ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter Mike Triplett, the Vikings are set to sign former Saints lineman Tom Johnson, who played defensive end in the team's 3-4 scheme last year but would likely project as a tackle in the Vikings' 4-3 defense, possibly sharing time with Sharrif Floyd and potentially closing off the door that appeared most open for Williams' possible return.

Williams said he hasn't had any contact with the Vikings since last week, and the team didn't get in touch with him after missing out on former Chicago Bears tackle Henry Melton on Tuesday. He's planning to play at age 34 next season, but didn't sound particularly interested on Wednesday in the idea of going through a training camp, only to lose out on a roster spot.

"There'd have to be a spot," he said. "I've played 11 years, and teams know what I've done. Once some of these young guys sign, if they're looking for a veteran tackle, they'll call."

The six-time Pro Bowler said he's had interest from a couple teams in addition to the Vikings, but hasn't received any contract offers yet. Though he said again on Wednesday his preference is to return to the Vikings, he sounded less optimistic about the odds of that happening.