Williams was targeted by a number of clubs, particularly the New Zealand Warriors, who were keen to bring him back to his home land. There were also a number of English clubs who expressed interest in the star. Negotiations between the Bulldogs and Williams had been prolonged; however it always seemed unlikely that Williams would consider a move.
With a number of quality players coming off contract at the end of the season, the Bulldogs will be relatively relieved that they have secured one of their big names. Both parties have shown a sense of loyalty which is good to see in Rugby League. The club supported Williams throughout his injury problems and this new deal certainly shows loyalty from both sides.
The Bulldogs' backrower was relieved to have sorted out his future, ending nearly four months of contract talk and numerous rumours regarding where he would play next season.
"I'm really happy, I would just like to thank the Bulldogs, the fans, management and the team for letting me take my time with this decision," Williams said.
"It was a big decision and I always wanted a five year deal.
"I'm happy I have come to this decision and happy to stay with the boys."
"It was pretty much just getting a five-year deal done.
"I have not been sleeping too well the last couple of weeks.
"I don't want to go through this ever again. I want to get myself and my family a good future.
"I pretty much came to this decision last night talking to my old man.
"Growing up we didn't have much and with the signing after five years I'm pretty sure I will have some for myself and some for my family."
Sonny Bill's re-signing almost guarantees that Mark O'Meley will be headed elsewhere in 2008 as the Bulldogs would struggle to fit him in. The Roosters and the Sharks are two teams that have been mentioned in relation to chasing to O'Meley's signature.
*In other NRL news, the Lote Tuqiri sags continues however there may be an end in sight. The South Sydney Rabbitohs may be nearing his signing with claims that a deal is '80 per cent' complete. There are a number of third-party sponsors involved which is the final hurdle, but an announcement should be made very shortly to confirm the news. If the deal goes ahead as planned, the Rabbitohs would have completed a massive signing that will help their quest to return to the glory days.