49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

May 18, 2009
Niners waive Jimmy Williams

Remember the interesting experiment to see whether Mike Singletary could resurrect Jimmy Williams' football career? Well, it's over. The team announced today that it has waived Williams, who had been playing second-string strong safety over the last two months. Singletary cited the depth at safety for releasing Williams.

"Right now, it's just ... we just felt that it was the best thing to do," Singletary said. "It is a numbers game. It is one of those things. We feel good about the guys we have. We wanted to give it a look and see how it would work out, and just felt like, 'You know what, right now's the best time to make that decision.'"

I asked if Williams' departure increases the liklihood that Reggie Smith will remain at safety. Singletary said it's a "strong possibility." With Michael Lewis observing today's practice, Smith again was the de facto starting strong safety. (Dashon Goldson was the starter at free safety).Williams' release also increases the chances that Mark Roman could return. Roman has been shopping himself -- unsuccessfuly -- for a trade. But Singletary revealed today that Roman has been a frequent visitor to the team facility, both meeting with coaches and getting treatment on bone spurs in his ankle. Roman has not taken part in any minicamps or OTAs. Singletary said that Roman probably couldn't practice anyway because of his injury. Singletary said that Roman is welcome -- always has been welcome -- to return to the 49ers.

"There's always been room for Mark Roman on the roster," Singletary said. "We talked to Mark and let him know that he's important to what we're trying to do. There was never a time that we said, 'We don't want Mark. He doesn't matter to us.' We want him. And we're very interested in keeping him. That's something that's not a secret to him."

In other safety news, the team has signed the first of its seventh-round draft picks, Curtis Taylor, to a four-year deal. That means three of the seven draft picks are now under contract.

-- Matt Barrows

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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