Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

PFF predicts landing spots for 49ers’ Trent Williams and Richard Sherman

Feb 17, 2021 at 2:46 PM--

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus provided updated landing spots for the top 50 impending free agents. You might remember the analytics site predicting in January that offensive tackle Trent Williams would return to the San Francisco 49ers on a four-year, $80 million deal with $62.5 million in guarantees.

Nothing has changed since then. That remains exactly what Treash predicts for Williams, who is listed as Pro Football Focus' fifth-highest ranked impending free agent.

"San Francisco is going to have to work some magic this offseason," explains Treash. "They are projected to have just around $13.5 million in cap space available, but star tackle Trent Williams is set to hit free agency along with every single important defensive back outside of safety Jimmie Ward.

"Williams played for nine years in Washington before sitting out in 2019 and then subsequently being traded to the Niners during the 2020 NFL Draft. And Williams looked as good as ever in his return this past season, showing no signs of rust while earning the highest PFF grade of any tackle in the NFL (91.9)."

Richard Sherman is Pro Football Focus' 18th-ranked impending free agent. Since December, he has repeatedly stated that he doesn't expect to return to the 49ers.

Where does Treash predict the veteran cornerback landing? Sherman could finish his career with the Las Vegas Raiders, which is a good guess considering head coach Jon Gruden already pitched the idea to the defender during a recent podcast interview. Sherman sounded intrigued by the idea of joining the Silver and Black.

"There's a conversation to be had, for sure," Sherman told Gruden. "I am free and available these days, fortunately, and unfortunately."

There is also some familiarity there. The Raiders hired Gus Bradley to be the team's defensive coordinator. Sherman worked with Bradley during the cornerback's first two seasons in the league and remains a fan.

"Just a couple of years ago, Sherman was PFF's highest-graded and most valuable cornerback in the NFL," wrote Treash. "He was limited to only five games in 2020 but gave up just 87 yards across 210 coverage snaps.

"The Raiders have ranked in the bottom half of the league in expected points added (EPA) allowed per pass play in each of the last three seasons. Sherman is still one of the smartest cornerbacks in the game and would surely help bring the Raiders out of the coverage rut."

Treash can envision Sherman receiving a two-year, $28 million deal from the Raiders that includes $18 million guaranteed. Two years would probably be the maximum. Sherman recently told ESPN that he hopes to only play two more seasons before retiring. After that, he may pursue a job in the media or maybe even an NFL front office staff.

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