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Former Bengals Safety Madieu Williams Wins 2010 Walter Payton Award

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The Cincinnati Bengals acquired a second round pick after trading running back Corey Dillon to the New England Patriots in mid-April of 2004. The pick, 24th selection in the second round and 56th overall, was probably (really, you're going to use the word "probably" here?) more than worth it to the Patriots. Dillon rushed for a career-high 1,635 yards in 2004 and recording 37 rushing touchdowns in 43 games with New England.

The Bengals used the newly acquired draft pick to select Maryland defensive back Madieu Williams. After posting 103 tackles his rookie year, Williams suffered a second-ending injury his sophomore season. The free safety would go on to record nine interceptions, four quarterback sacks and 288 tackles with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Williams left Cincinnati after the 2007 season when the Minnesota Vikings offered him a six-year deal worth $33 million.

On Sunday, just before the Super Bowl XLV kickoff, it was announced that Williams was named the 2010 recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

However Williams was not there to accept the award. He is in the Persian Gulf on a goodwill tour visiting U.S. service members during Super Bowl week.

"It is a tremendous honor to win this award named after Walter Payton, one of the greatest men to ever play in the National Football League," said Williams, surrounded by service members in Iraq. "I'm sorry I couldn't be there to accept the award, but it’s an even greater honor to be here with the 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Iron Horse."

According to the Enquirer's Joe Reedy, Williams still actively supports "various programs in the Cincinnati area." From everyone at, Congratulations, Madieu.

Ken Anderson (1980), Reggie Williams (1986) and Anthony Munoz (1991) are former Bengals players that have won the award.