The release of Dwight Smith has left the Vikings extremely thin at safety, but there are indications they will correct that in free agency.
According to what a league source told Scout.com's Adam Caplan, the Vikings are expected to target Bengals safety Madieu Williams when free agency opens on Feb. 29. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals in early February were considering putting the franchise tag on Williams, which would have cost them $4,396,000. Instead, they opted to use the franchise tag on Stacy Andrews. Defensive end Justin Smith was also a candidate for that move.
Williams played in 13 games last year, but he was eventually placed on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury.
Williams, out of Maryland, started 13 games in his rookie season and registered 103 tackles and three interceptions. He also covered the slot receiver last season, according to what a team source told Caplan.
In his second season, he was placed on injured reserve in October with a shoulder injury and played only four games, starting three.
He returned in 2006 and started all 16 games and had 88 tackles and three interceptions.
His rookie season was spent with current Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier when he was in the same role in Cincinnati, but they were different defenses.
The Vikings have two safeties scheduled to be free agent on Feb. 29 – Mike Doss and Tank Williams. Doss is expected to hit the free-agent market, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Progress with talks on Williams aren't known at this time.
Vikings Interested in Veteran Safety?
Viking Update Top Stories
Cutler’s back, drawing angry Vikings defenseThe Bears announced Monday that, in the midst of Chicago’s World Series frenzy, local goat Jay Cutler will be making his return to playing action. How will it go? The Minnesota…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 10:02 PM
Notebook: Problems extended beyond pass proThe Minnesota Vikings had obvious problems with pass protection, but there are other areas head coach Mike Zimmer is addressing, too.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 7:41 PM
Vikings will look at ‘all options’ to improveComing off a loss that Mike Zimmer termed “embarrassing,” a 21-10 defeat against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings will look at all options to rectify the situation.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 2:42 PM
VIDEO: Zimmer: 'This is a gut-check day'Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer recapped the first loss of the season by pointing out "several dumb things" he found to be uncharacteristic of his team.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 1:06 PM
Counting snaps: Vikings vs. EaglesDespite a “soft” performance on the offensive line, according to coach Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings seemed interested in getting a rotation going there.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 6:23 AM