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


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers common supervisor John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have been principally mum on the subject of free company this 12 months, as they did not should undergo their normal media availability as a result of there was no NFL mix.

The final time Lynch and Shanahan spoke publicly was Jan. 4, proper after an odd 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’ complete 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 preferred. 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 bought 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 certain he may see what the market may maintain for the uncommon elite left deal with, Williams maximized that worth after which some.

To make sure, it is some huge cash for a deal with who will likely 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 a large 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, based mostly on the timing, any good fallback choices that may have included the inside offensive line and/or exterior pass-rushers would have already been gone by the point Williams made his determination.

What’s extra, the 49ers virtually actually 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 staff desires relating to the NFL draft.

The 49ers knew all of that, too, which is why they have been keen 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 asserting 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 completed when the brand new league 12 months begins.

As well as, different key Niners free brokers reminiscent of nickel cornerback Okay’Waun Williams, defensive finish Kerry Hyder Jr. and defensive deal with D.J. Jones are nonetheless accessible. That does not assure any of them will likely be again with the Niners however with their prime priorities taken care of, they will stay within the combine to convey these gamers again if a powerful market does 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 reminiscent of Mitchel Trubisky stays accessible and intriguing to San Francisco, relying on the worth.

And, in fact, 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 will take a large deal for the Niners (or any staff) 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 keen to go to extremes when it is for a participant they really need.

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