It used to be that everyone wanted to go play for the New England Patriots. Free agent mercenaries and veterans seeing the light at the end of the tunnel lined up for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and a shot at a Super bowl. Now the premier destination for ring-hungry NFL players may be shifting to the pacific northwest.
According to a report on NFL.com, newly signed Seahawks defensive tackle Kevin Williams was leaning towards signing with the Pats when the champs came calling and his tune changed immediately. The Vikings also made a hard last minute charge to bring him back but Williams says that winning was at the top of his list of priorities:
“I just think there were better pieces in place in Seattle. The familiarity with being in Minnesota was there, but a chance to (not) know if they’re going to win 10 games or three games (played into it). I wish them luck, but there’s no certainty there, and you have a proven quarterback in those two teams (Seattle and New England).”
At 34 years old Williams knows that he doesn’t have much time to chase a championship. Choosing Seattle over New England represents a changing in values. Apparently the Patriots offered more money than the Seahawks, but Williams went with Seattle because he felt they have a better chance of going all the way, and because he won’t be asked to do as much on their defensive line.
Seahawks DT Kevin Williams said Pats offered him more $, but he chose Seattle. His contract maxes at $2.1M, with $500k fully guaranteed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 18, 2014
Last season with Minnesota Williams played over 700 snaps. No player in the Seahawks rotation had more than 650 in 2013. Williams believes that the reduced role will help keep him fresh and aggressive. Last night he told the Herald of Everett that he can still get to a quarterback if his legs are fresh:
“It’s an awesome chance to get in and play a limited number of snaps and maximize the ability I have… I think if I’m playing 500 plays versus 700 plays at this age I can definitely still get after the quarterback.”
He’s not a game-changer like former teammate Jared Allen, but Williams is the first drop in what should become a steady stream of free agents willing to take less money to play for Pete Carroll’s perennial championship contenders.