Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


PFF predicts 49ers re-sign Trent Williams to this massive deal

Jan 13, 2021 at 10:49 AM--


One way or another, offensive tackle Trent Williams is about to become an even richer man. It could be with the San Francisco 49ers, which traded for the offensive lineman last year to replace a retiring Joe Staley, or it could be with another team.

The 49ers had contract talks with Williams' representatives before the team's final game of the season but couldn't come to an agreement. The veteran tackle admits that his preferred offseason outcome would be a return to San Francisco but is curious about his free-agency value.

"It's been 11 years in the league," Williams told reporters after the season. "I have yet to see a franchise left tackle go to the open market. I think it would be interesting to kind of see what the value holds. Regardless, like I said, I've always maintained the same thing. I think San Francisco is my number one destination, and we'll see how things work out."

Pro Football Focus predicts that Williams will get his wish — remaining with the 49ers while becoming one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the league. Right now, he ranks 20th on the list. The analytics site foresees San Francisco signing Williams to a four-year, $80 million deal with $62.5 million total guaranteed and $45 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Such a contract would make Williams the third-highest paid offensive lineman in football, behind only David Bakhtiari of the Green Bay Packers and Laremy Tunsil of the Houston Texans.

"After not playing a snap in 2019, Williams is back in his rightful place as one of the league's best offensive tackles," wrote the Pro Football Focus team. "He can play in any scheme, moving defenders at the point of attack or cutting them off on the backside of zone plays, while linebackers must keep their head on a swivel because he attacks the second level with a vengeance.

"Williams has basically never had a bad season in the NFL, with his rookie year being by far the lowest overall PFF grade he has posted (63.4). He hit at least a 75.6 mark in every other season, and 2020 is now the third time he's led all offensive tackles in PFF grade (91.9). He has shown elite-level play in multiple schemes and now multiple cities, and he looks capable of being the next great left tackle to play well into their 30s at a high level."

A deal that averages $20 million per season would make Williams the second-highest-paid player on the roster. Only quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo earns a higher average salary. San Francisco is expected to have less than $15 million in salary-cap space, assuming a $175 million team salary cap. It could be more, but that's the floor that general manager John Lynch said the 49ers are working with right now.

That's not a whole lot of wiggle room. How flexible would Williams be to remain with a team he loves and feels can compete for a championship?

"If I'm not here, obviously, I would want to maximize my value," Williams said. "But I do understand any time you have a roster that has a lot of good players, you're not going to have a wealth of salary cap space, so I understand that as well."





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