Free agent safety Madieu Williams, who played for the 49ers in 2011, signed a contract with the Redskins. Williams was mainly a backup for the 49ers at safety starting in only three games last season. The 49ers are not losing out on much production wise as Williams had a total of nine tackles and zero interceptions in 15 games. As a full-time starter with the Vikings from 2009-2010, Williams had a total of 149 tackles.
The numbers Williams put up in 2009 and 2010 was a big reason why the 49ers signed him to a one-year contract last off-season. He was expected to be the starter last season but with Dashon Goldson showing he is capable of being a full-time starter and Donte Whitner going well beyond expectations in 2011, Williams was regulated to backup duty.
The real problem for the 49ers with Williams’ departure is a lack of a reliable backup safety that can come in and start should Goldson or Whitner go down with an injury. Last season Reggie Smith and Williams served as adequate backups but now both players have signed elsewhere. Smith signed a contract with the Panthers this off-season.
The only other backup safeties currently on the roster are C.J. Spillman and Colin Jones. Spillman is mainly on the roster for his special team’s skills rather than his safety play and Jones barely saw action last season. The 49ers can now add safety to their to-draft list.