Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports


49ers considered playing Trent Williams at guard during potential trade last year

Jun 23, 2020 at 6:29 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers found themselves in what they perceived as a tough situation last season. The team lost both starting offensive tackles to injuries. Naturally, knowing that the roster was capable of something special, general manager John Lynch started to look into his options.

Disgruntled Washington tackle Trent Williams was one of those options.

"We had made a call about it in the last season when Joe (Staley) and (Mike) McGlinchey were hurt, thinking, wow, this could be an option," Lynch told Greg Papa during the 49ers' virtual State of the Franchise event this week. "When those guys come back, maybe we play him at guard."

The trade, obviously, didn't happen during the season. It did happen, however, during the third day of this year's draft.

"It was too much compensation (that Washington wanted) at that point," Lynch continued. "It just wasn't going to work. We just kept in constant contact. We didn't have anything to do on Day 2 (of the draft). So I just wore (new Washington head coach) Ron Rivera out, and fortunately, on Day 3, he woke up, he texted me and said, 'Let's talk.' And we were able to do that deal.

"Really excited about it. Trent's a phenomenal player. He's replacing a phenomenal player in Joe (Staley). [He's] incredibly motivated. He did not play football last year, so there's going to be some rust that he's going to have to knock off. What we know is that he's feeling great, and we got a really good player replacing a guy who deserves Hall of Fame consideration, in my mind, in Joe Staley."

San Francisco sent a fifth-round pick in this year's draft and a third-rounder next year to Washington for Williams. He is entering the final year of his contract, and the 49ers reportedly cannot use the franchise tag on him. That leaves the team with the option of signing the offensive lineman to a lucrative long-term deal or letting him walk in 2021.

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