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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

K’Waun Williams explains why he picked the 49ers over Jets, Chiefs in free agency

Mar 30, 2021 at 12:59 PM--

K'Waun Williams had choices in free agency. The New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs were interested. Ultimately, the cornerback opted to stay with the familiar, which meant re-signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

"All the (offered) deals were pretty similar, at the time," Williams told reporters on Tuesday. "I just chose the Niners. I couldn't deny playing with some of my teammates, you know what I mean? In our secondary, we've got Jimmie (Ward), Jaquiski (Tartt), we've got Jason (Verrett), all those guys. Just being able to play one more year with those guys was just too intriguing to me."

Williams visited with the Chiefs before re-signing with San Francisco. Understandably, he didn't want to discuss the Lombardi Trophy from Super Bowl LIV that was probably on display.

"Overall, it was a cool visit and everything," Williams shared. "Besides that, I don't want to bring up the Lombardi anymore. It was cool, though."

Safety Jaquiski Tartt said earlier this month that he was in communication with Williams and hinted that he might be trying to nudge the cornerback in the direction of a return. Cornerback Jason Verrett was doing the same thing on Instagram.

"Those guys are everything," Williams said. "It was vital to the process. They always asked me to keep them posted on what was going on with the visits and how free agency was going. Ultimately, they wanted me to make a decision that was best for me but deep down inside, they wanted me to come back to the Niners and just do it one more year with them."

Williams isn't sure what his role will be under new defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. He's ready to answer the call, though, and do anything to help the team. While the versatile Williams is considered one of the best slot corners in the league, he knows there is always room for growth.

"There's always room for improvement," he said. "Over these past few years, I've been able to just refine my game in terms of just playing the nickel. I try to play at the highest level, just tackling, being able to get the ball back for our offense, and just growing, being able to lead, give guys words of encouragement, our young guys.

"Just development as a player, I've still got a lot more room to develop as a leader on a team, and that's what I'm looking forward to doing."

Added Williams: "Whatever DeMeco asks of me, I'm ready."

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