By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
Pat Williams – Signed by the Bills in 1997
Pat Williams deserves plenty of credit for his football career. He had several chances to get sidetracked and ignored, but overcame them to become a very good player at his position for a long time.
Williams bounced among three different colleges before finishing at Texas A&M at the age of 24. The Bills had seen enough of him there to sign him to a free-agent contract. He only suited up for one game as a rookie, but became a contributor in his next seasons. In 2001, Williams was ready to start at defensive tackle. He was a regular through 2004, and the 6-foot-3, 317-pound defender certainly clogged up the middle of the line.
Then it was time to test the free agent waters. Minnesota signed him, but some wondered how long a 34-year-old nose tackle could last. The Vikings were thrilled by the answer. Williams picked up his play and made the Pro Bowl for three straight years. He started right through the 2010 season when he was 38, and retired as one of the Vikings’ best-ever signings. Just remember that Pat was a success story in Buffalo too.
He was also good in Minnesota:
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