Make no mistake about it, having Madieu Williams back will in itself be like picking up a number one draft pick. The Bengals would have greatly improved their post-season result and the team wouldn't have to sign a horrible safety in Ifeanyi Ohalete -- my pick for worst free agent pick up since Marvin Lewis became head coach -- if Williams remained healthy.
In his rookie season (2004), Williams started 13 games at thirteen different positions (strong and free safety and cornerback). He's a constant factor against the pass and an aggressive tackler against the run. His talents and contributions are lasting in that we don't have to put sub-par talent (see Ohalete) in his place.
When most fans say we need to strengthen our depth at safety, some honestly forget, with reason, a returning Madieu Williams could -- and should -- resolve that.
But the question is his recovery and his durability. Williams missed some time during the pre-season due to injury and missed most the season due to a shoulder injury. He was placed on the injury reserved list on Halloween '05.
Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer, Mark Curnutte, writes up a wonderful piece on Madieu Williams being a role model, mentor, and guardian to his younger brother. This guy is a class act.