Former Bengal Williams agrees to sign with Vikings for $33 million

Updated: February 29, 2008, 12:30 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

An all-night negotiations session with the Minnesota Vikings produced a deal that has made Madieu Williams a formal Bengal and now one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL.

Madieu Williams

Williams

Williams, 26, agreed to a six-year, $33 million contract Friday morning after his agent, Ken Zuckerman, and Minnesota officials worked through the night to get a deal done. As both sides spelled out the final language of the contract, Williams headed to the airport Friday morning for a flight to Minneapolis to sign the deal.

The contract tops Deon Grant's five-year, $31.8 million deal that was the highest of the free agent safety class of 2007. Williams was considered one of the top safeties in free agency this year and his presence will fill a big need in the Vikings secondary.

Williams is known more for his coverage skills than his hitting, and the Vikings wanted to shore up some of their pass-coverage deficiencies.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer