Vikings Sign Former Rams Defensive Lineman Jonah Williams
Jonah Williams, Sean McVay, Rams
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings announced that they have signed former Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Jonah Williams after spending his first three seasons as a pro in L.A. Williams was a part of the Super Bowl champion Rams roster for the 2021 season, his rookie campaign.

Williams was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Rams out of Weber State. Williams won three conference titles with Weber State and was named Big Sky Defensive MVP in 2019. Williams was the 2019-20 Weber State Male Athlete of the Year and the Big Sky Scholar Athlete. The Rams gave him a chance when he was not taken in the draft and it didn’t take long for him to become a full-time starter.

The 28-year-old defensive lineman played eight games with zero starts in his rookie season, then 16 games with six starts last campaign. Finally, he started in 16 of 17 games for the Rams in 2023, posting a career high 49 tackles, four tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and one pass defended. Williams played in 53% of defensive snaps and 36% of special teams snaps for the Rams this season.

The Vikings land Williams after hiring former Rams coach Marcus Dixon to be their defensive line coach this offseason. Dixon only spent one season with Williams, but clearly felt he would be a good fit in Minnesota, who is undergoing a bit of a retooling in 2024.

Williams is currently slated to back up Jerry Tillery as an edge rusher, but he could also bump to tackle where Minnesota has less depth. Williams may get a chance for serious playing time in 2024, a chance he was less likely to get with the Rams even after the retirement of Aaron Donald.

Aaron Donald was “full” after Rams loss to Lions

Donald announced his retirement from the game of football over the weekend, ending one of the most remarkable careers of any defensive player in NFL history. Head coach Sean McVay and the Rams coaching staff have a big challenge on their hands to keep the defense afloat without the all-time great.

But McVay was prepared for this and has known for quite some time now. There was some talk in previous years about Donald possibly considering retirement, but not long after this season ended with that playoff loss to the Detroit Lions, McVay knew it was the end.

McVay revealed that the day after the Rams were eliminated, Donald’s message to the Rams coach made it clear he was done with the game of football.