The long and winding road of Gregg Williams has led him back to the NFL and a position with the Tennessee Titans.
Williams, the central figure in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, was told Thursday by the league that he has been reinstated and is free to work for the Titans in the role of senior assistant/defense.
"(NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell today notified Gregg Williams and the Tennessee Titans that Williams' contract with the Titans has been approved and that he has been reinstated," the league said in a statement.
"The commissioner cited several reasons for the reinstatement, including Williams' forthcoming acknowledgement of and acceptance of responsibility for his role in the bounty program at the Saints, his commitment to never again be involved in a pay-for-performance or bounty system, and his pledge to teach safe play and respect for the rules at all levels of the game. The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance."
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Goodell and Williams met Jan. 29 at the NFL offices.
Williams, suspended indefinitely last offseason, returns to a Titans organization he spent 11 years with from 1990 to 2000. It was unclear if Williams ever would coach again, but Titans coach Mike Munchak knows him well and appears eager to extend the olive branch.
"I have known Gregg for (more than) two decades and have seen him work his way up from a quality control coach to a head coach," Munchak said in a statement on the team's official site. "He will bring a great deal of defensive knowledge and energy to our staff. The decision to bring him here only came after going through a thoughtful and thorough process."
The return of Williams to the NFL signals an official end to the bounty mess, but Williams will be watched closely, a challenge the Titans appear willing to take on.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.