Pat Williams‘s agent Angelo Wright made it pretty clear last week that his client would be testing the free agent market once the season ends. In fact, Wright made it sound an awful lot like Pat was already out the door. Here was Wright’s statement:
"We engaged in a dialogue and set a date before the season kicked in, and today was the day they strapped up, so by not reaching an accord on a new deal, we will move on after the season. Teams sign their core players, and don’t let them get into a situation where the player’s value is determined by the market. Since we couldn’t reach an agreement with the Vikings on where his value is, we’ll go into the market next offseason, and let the market dictate his value. We anticipate there will be a lot of interest in him."
Sounds pretty definitive to me. The Vikes don’t want to pay my guy what he’s worth, so we’re walking. Uh, not so fast there Angelo – maybe it’s true that Pat was unhappy with how negotiations went, but that doesn’t mean the big guy is fixing to pack his bags. Here’s what Big Pat himself had to say about his future with the Purple:
"I love it here. This is like home to me. I understand the business side of it. But I’m attached to the city, and I’m attached to the fans, so I don’t want to leave and change teams. I want to finish my career here."
It’s lovely that Pat has such a positive feeling about the city and the team and everything, but come on – when you get down to it, it will still be about the money. Cory Redding got his huge contract, and now the Bears have handed Williams more negotiating ammo by giving Darwin Walker a five-year extension even though he still had two years left on his contract. Pat wants a deal like that – and never mind his feel-good statements about loving the city, and liking Brad Childress now that they’ve learned to communicate (do they text-message each other too?), and being leery of having to move to a new town and learn a new system. Big Pat will do what’s best for Big Pat money-wise, and if that money comes from Dallas or someplace else, he’ll suddenly discover the motivation he needs to up-root himself and move on again. Nobody’s talking about Big Pat taking less money to stay – least of all Big Pat. So, more than likely, Big Pat will be gone next year – and in all honesty, given his age and the kind of money some team will probably be willing to throw at him, I will not be crying my eyes out. He’s a nice player, seems like a good dude, but he ain’t Warren Sapp in his prime, and he shouldn’t be paid like he is.