49ers lock in NFL’s prime out there expertise, and their flexibility, with Trent Williams


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers basic supervisor John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan had been principally mum on the subject of free company this yr, as they did not need to undergo their traditional media availability as a result of there was no NFL mix.

The final time Lynch and Shanahan spoke publicly was Jan. 4, proper after a wierd and disappointing 6-10 season. However Lynch and Shanahan did not want to speak for everybody to know that left deal with Trent Williams was precedence Nos. 1 via 100 when it got here to their offseason.

Williams was not solely the 49ers’ prime free agent however the league’s and the Niners’ whole offseason hinged on his plans.

Because it turned out, the chase to maintain Williams was a bit longer and extra arduous than San Francisco would have appreciated. Lynch and Shanahan needed to sweat it out as groups such because the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Chicago Bears pursued Williams via the primary two days of the early negotiating window.

Within the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the 49ers lastly obtained their man. Williams agreed to a six-year, $138.01 million contract to stay in San Francisco. Within the course of, he turns into the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL historical past. For a participant who made positive he might see what the market would possibly maintain for the uncommon elite left deal with, Williams maximized that worth after which some.

To make certain, it is some huge cash for a deal with who will probably be 33 when subsequent season begins and who hasn’t performed a full 16-game season since 2013. Nonetheless, there isn’t any doubt that when Williams is wholesome, he is a uncommon mixture of measurement, energy and athleticism that merely cannot be changed.

Had Williams left, it will have been an enormous loss that drastically shifted the Niners’ plans. Left deal with would have joined middle and guard on the listing of wants on the offensive line alone and, primarily based on the timing, any good fallback choices that may have included the inside offensive line and/or outdoors pass-rushers would have already been gone by the point Williams made his choice.

What’s extra, the 49ers virtually definitely would have had to make use of the No. 12 decide within the draft on a left deal with, successfully eradicating them from the first-round quarterback dialog and permitting little flexibility, one thing no crew needs relating to the NFL draft.

The 49ers knew all of that, too, which is why they had been prepared to go to heretofore unseen locations to maintain Williams. With Williams again within the fold, the 49ers have managed to maintain three of their prime 4 in-house free brokers, as he returns together with fullback Kyle Juszczyk and cornerback Jason Verrett.

After agreeing to the deal, Williams wasted no time transitioning to de facto recruiter. Williams tagged free-agent middle Alex Mack on his Instagram story saying his return. Mack has Bay Space ties from his days at Cal and performed for Shanahan with the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons. That is a deal that’s anticipated to get performed when the brand new league yr begins.

As well as, different key Niners free brokers equivalent to nickel cornerback Ok’Waun Williams, defensive finish Kerry Hyder Jr. and defensive deal with D.J. Jones are nonetheless out there. That does not assure any of them will probably be again with the Niners however with their prime priorities taken care of, they will stay within the combine to carry these gamers again if a powerful market would not develop.

The 49ers can also flip their consideration to their quarterback state of affairs. Whereas the expectation stays that incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo would be the starter in 2021, an skilled backup with some upside equivalent to Mitchel Trubisky stays out there and intriguing to San Francisco, relying on the worth.

And, after all, the Niners are nonetheless on the periphery of the Deshaun Watson state of affairs because the Houston Texans proceed to carry on to him regardless of his commerce request. It could take an enormous deal for the Niners (or any crew) to land Watson and it stays to be seen if and when the Texans will even commerce him.

However with Williams again, the Niners are a extra interesting place for any quarterback and, as his deal proved, they’re prepared to go to extremes when it is for a participant they really need.

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