|Source: Vikings agree to trade WR Troy Williamson to Jaguars|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2008 12:29|
The Vikings have agreed to trade Williamson to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round draft pick, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity, because trades cannot be made official by the NFL until free agency begins early Friday. Teams can't comment on such matters until then.
Williamson was taken by the Vikings out of South Carolina with the seventh overall pick in the 2005 draft, a selection obtained from the Oakland Raiders in the Randy Moss trade. Williamson never played up to those expectations, a lack of production magnified by the struggles Minnesota had on offense over the past three seasons.
The Vikings have been in flux at quarterback and lacking a true go-to receiver since they decided to deal Moss, which didn't help Williamson's development. He was asked to use his elite-level speed to be the deep threat they needed to stretch out opposing defenses, but his playing time was inconsistent and he never found a rhythm doing that.
Much of the problem, though, was his inability to hang onto the ball.
In training camp, Williamson spoke confidently about breaking through with a solid season. He spent hours with vision specialists from Nike and caught an estimated 20,000 balls over the winter, spring and early summer - sometimes using a machine to feed them to him at home.
Though the Vikings were pleased with his work ethic, it never paid off on the field. Williamson caught a 60-yard touchdown pass in a victory over the Chicago Bears, but he finished with only 240 yards on 18 receptions in 11 games. In 39 career games, he has 1,067 yards and three touchdowns.
The most glaring gaffe, and surest sign of the end of his employment with Minnesota, came in the season finale against the Denver Broncos when he misjudged what would've been a 72-yard score and dropped the ball without a defender in sight.
``You've got to make the routine catches routinely,'' coach Brad Childress said then.
Williamson will rejoin former head coach Mike Tice, who is now an assistant with Jacksonville. Tice, who was fired by the Vikings after the 2005 season, pushed in that draft for standout pass rusher Shawne Merriman, who was taken by the San Diego Chargers five spots after Williamson.
Williamson has two years remaining on his contract. He's scheduled to make $910,000 in 2008 and $1.435 million in 2009.