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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Retirement? 49ers’ Trent Williams hasn’t decided on NFL future yet

Jan 31, 2023 at 5:16 PM--

Trent Williams knows the San Francisco 49ers roster has the talent to bounce back from Sunday's disappointing loss in the NFC Championship Game and have another impressive season in 2023. Will he be a part of it, though?

Williams has been in the league since 2010, when Washington made him the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. The 49ers traded for him in 2020. He has twice been named a first-team All-Pro, is a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, and will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame offensive lineman, when that time comes.

Could that be in five years, assuming he retires now? Has Williams, the best offensive lineman in the NFL, contemplated calling it a career?

"I mean, it's a long season," Williams told reporters Tuesday as the 49ers cleared out their lockers, ready to embark on the offseason. "And having two long seasons back-to-back, it does get pretty grueling for a 34-year-old guy like myself. I'll be 35 when the season starts.

"You do kind of think about what's life like after football. I've done this every year of my life since the second grade. You do get to that age where, especially at the end of the year like this, with it being as exhausting as it was, and still not getting quite where you want to be.

"I get it. You get to that age. But honestly, I'm just taking it one day at a time, and we'll just see how that goes going forward."

The 49ers could certainly use Williams, especially if the player anchoring the opposite side of the offensive line, Mike McGlinchey, leaves in free agency. Williams was wearing a boot and getting around on crutches in the 49ers locker room. He is dealing with an injury from Sunday that he described as "very minor."

Given the wear and tear an NFL season takes on a player, it's easy to wonder how long Williams can keep playing at such a high level. Does the offensive lineman know how long that can last?

"I don't," Williams responded. "To me, I think it's all about what I can do during the offseason, sticking to my regiment, sticking to the blueprint, and trying to study myself to figure out ways to get better, figure out anything I can see on film. That's pretty much what I use this time for.

"I'm really just taking it one day at a time. There ain't a lot of future to look forward to, so I might as well live in the present, right? So I'm just really taking it one day at a time."

At his age, Williams acknowledges that it's gotten harder to wake up in the mornings and maintain the same level of excitement he once had for the game.

"Honestly, I'd be lying if I said it didn't," Williams said. "Yeah, it does. I mean, it isn't hard to get up for the NFC Championship or playoffs or anything like that. But, yeah, the day-to-day grind, it does get pretty redundant, doing it for a long time. But I'm blessed. I'm blessed to be able to play the game for as long as I have, and whatever God has in the future for me, I know I'll have it.

"But to answer your question, yeah, it does get a little—it's like a rerun almost."

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