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Redskins add ex-Terrapin Williams, meet with Griffin

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

 

The Redskins added more potential depth at safety, agreeing to terms with Madieu Williams, though it’s uncertain if they’ve solved their quest to find a starter.

Also, the Redskins met with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III Tuesday (after dinner with him Monday night) and will meet with Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck Wednesday (after dinner Tuesday night). The Colts are still expected to pick Luck with the first choice, but just in case the Redskins will be prepared.

Meanwhile, Williams, who played collegiately at Maryland, was a backup with San Francisco last season, making three starts but recording only nine tackles.  He was a full-time starter in his seven previous seasons (three with Minnesota and four with Cincinnati).

If nothing else he adds depth in the secondary. The Redskins signed Brandon Meriweather earlier this offseason. Both have played free safety and can play strong. Numerous NFL sources say Meriweather is better closer to the line of scrimmage; Williams has mostly played free safety.

Williams will compete with DeJon Gomes at free safety, though it’s possible the Redskins could draft another player at this position. There are doubts as to whether or not Gomes is ready to be a full-time starter, despite his starting five games as a rookie.

“He was not ready to be in there,” one Redskins source said of Gomes. But the same source said he could still see Gomes starting one day, given the chance to develop.

The Redskins also signed corner Cedric Griffin earlier this offseason. There was talk that Griffin would have been moved to safety had he remained in Minnesota. One NFL source said such a move was not mentioned with the Redskins, though there’s always the chance it could still happen.

Williams missed seven games in 2008 because of a neck injury and, according to reports, his play suffered in 2009 and 2010, particularly the latter year. Minnesota cut him before last season, partly because according to reports he did not want to restructure a contract that called for him to make $5.4 million.

But Williams is considered a solid locker room guy and is a former Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner. His work in his native Sierra Leone, where he travels each offseason, is one reason why. In 2009 his $2 million donation founded the Madieu Williams Center for Global Health Initiatives.

Williams turned down an offer from Atlanta to join the Redskins.

The Redskins also signed corner Leigh Torrence, who spent parts of three seasons in Washington (2006-08) and has one career start. He played the past four seasons with New Orleans.

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