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Madieu Williams Signs With Redskins, Further Opening Up Safety Search

In a move that was expected among 49ers fans, Madieu Williams is officially a former 49er. The reserve safety reportedly agreed to undisclosed terms in a deal with the Washington Redskins. Williams had been under the radar until he began some free agency trips this week. He got some early starting time with the 49ers the first two weeks of last season when Dashon Goldson was hurt, but spent much of the rest of the season as a little used reserve.

The 49ers safety contingent current consists of free safety Dashon Goldson, strong safety Donte Whitner and reserve safety C.J. Spillman. Mark LeGree will get some time in training camp but is likely destined for the practice squad. Colin Jones is technically listed as a safety but spent all last season on special teams and appeared to get more practice snaps as a wide receiver than safety. There is also the possibility of Cory Nelms getting moved from cornerback to safety to see what he can do.

It is safe to say the 49ers will add a safety in this year's draft. The 49ers are still trying to work out a long-term deal with Dashon Goldson, but at the very least he will be back on his franchise tender. If the 49ers intend to get a long term deal done, the team will be looking for some depth, but nothing too flashy. You can swing by Mocking the Draft (FS and SS) and National Football Post (FS and SS) for a look at their safety rankings heading into the 2012 NFL Draft.

It seems likely for the team to add a guy in the middle rounds at best, but given the willingness to create competition, a higher round pick probably wouldn't surprise many folks. Much could depend on if any headway is made towards a long-term deal with Goldson.