Trent Williams is back in Santa Clara, as the offensive lineman signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The two parties agreed to terms on a six-year deal that makes Williams the highest-paid offensive lineman in the history of the league. It turns out that $138.06 million was enough to make sure Trent Williams is back as a 49er. With $55.1 million in guaranteed money and a $30 million signing bonus, John Lynch certainly didn’t hide the fact that Williams is a big part of his plans in 2021.
After a season lost to injury, the 49ers are desperate to get back to the playoffs and beyond. Securing the services of Trent Williams is a huge boost to their playoff chances next year. Competing in one of, if not the toughest division in football, San Francisco has to find a way to remain competitive. Making sure Trent Williams comes back had to have been right at the top of the To-Do list for the general manager.
Trent Williams: A Huge Signing for the 49ers
On the third day of the 2020 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers acquired Trent Williams as part of a trade with the Washington Football Team. Trent Williams would go on to play in 14 games and secure the left tackle position for the 49ers. Unfortunately for Williams, and the 49ers, an injury plague meant that it was a revolving door of quarterbacks that he was protecting, and as a result, the 49ers could not be competitive in 2020.
Trent Williams did not let that affect his play as he returned to his pro-bowl form. He finished the 2020 season with a pass block rate of 93.6%. Which was good for the fourth-best amongst offensive lineman. Baring in mind that he sat out all of the 2019 season due to health and contract issues, that is fairly impressive. The offensive lineman had a rare form of cancer and disputed how his contract was handed in Washington. Needless to say, the Washington Football Team will be wishing they handled it a bit better after seeing what he did in 2020.
As previously mentioned, making sure Trent Williams came back was the top priority of John Lynch, but he had to fight to keep him. Williams desired to stay a 49er but with the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears, both making big offers, the money may have been too good to turn down. In the end, San Francisco was able to stump up the money on a six-year deal and keep Williams as the anchor on the left side of their offensive line.
A Stellar Career
Williams joined the league as the fourth pick in the 2010 draft and has excelled. He has played in 133 games and earned eight trips to the Pro Bowl. Eight trips are the most by an offensive lineman since 2012 and it’s clear to see why the 49ers were happy to sign such a big deal. With injured players returning and some new faces in free agency and the draft, the San Francisco 49ers look to be dangerous in the 2021 season.
One man who will be extremely glad that Trent Williams is back is Jimmy Garappolo. The quarterback earns the big money and the left tackle gets the second-best contract. At least that’s how it should be. The left tackle is responsible for protecting the blindside of the quarterback and no quarterback wants to take a big hit that they didn’t see coming. Tren Williams is one of the best at doing this. Garappolo, or whoever the starter will be, will be delighted that Williams is suiting up for 2021.
Now That Trent Williams is Back, What’s Next for the 49ers?
So now that the left tackle is sorted with the returning of Trent Williams, what else do the 49ers need to do before the 2021 season? The decision at quarterback needs to be assured quickly. At the end of the 2020 season and before the start of free agency, there were a lot of rumors about whether or not Jimmy Garappolo was the man going forward, but nothing has really came to fruition. One of his potential suitors, the New England Patriots, brought Cam Newton back into the fold and all but assured the NFL world that they would not be making a play at Garoppolo.
All the “QB needy” teams have started to make their moves and Garappolo remains in Santa Clara. A new quarterback wasn’t vital for the 49ers but it was certainly worth looking at. Now, as we are into free agency, the only big name left out there that would be a substantial upgrade is Deshaun Watson. The Watson to 49ers rumors has also quieted down as late. The news that Trent Williams is back in the red and gold might make the destination more appealing to the current Houston Texans quarterback.
In 2020, Watson was the second-most sacked quarterback and had no run game to speak of as he tried to operate behind a failing offensive line. In San Franciso, he would know that he has one of the best to ever do it protecting his blindside. That coupled with an array of weapons and the weather in California has to make the destination appealing. Now the difficulty is whether or not the 49ers are in a position to make it happen.
John Lynch should certainly be trying to bring Deshaun Watson to San Francisco a reality.
San Francisco Free Agency Tracker
One of the other big problems for San Francisco heading onto the offseason was the cornerback position. With just about every cornerback on the roster at the end of a deal, the 49ers found themselves having to secure the services of current players or find new ones. At the time of writing this San Francisco has managed acquire current players Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett.
Despite having little room in the cap at the start of free agency, the 49ers have brought the two cornerbacks back. Moseley has been signed to a two-year deal worth up to $10.1 million and Verrett is back on a one-year deal that could be worth as much as $6.5 million. With Richard Sherman, more than likely playing for a new team in 2021, stability and knowledge at the position was a priority.
Also on the defense, San Francisco has brought in the services of Samson Ebukam. The former Los Angeles Ram has signed a two-year deal worth up to $13.5 million. In 2020 the linebacker notched 4.5 sacks and 31 tackles. He will be heading into his fifth year in the league and will add plenty of knowledge to the position.
Along with the two cornerbacks, the 49ers have secured the services of defensive tackle D.J. Jones. Jones is believed to coming back on a one-year contract.
Trent Williams is back at left tackle and now that it’s secured, the next priority on the offensive line is the center. It’s all very good having a quarterback to throw the ball and a left tackle to protect him, but you need someone trustworthy to snap the ball to the quarterback. The veteran Alex Mack from the Atlanta Falcons has agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $5.5 million. The center brings 13 years of experience to the 49er’s offense and is a valuable addition to the offensive line.
Next up the Juice is back. No, not that one, Kyle Juszczyk has agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth up to $27 million. A consistent solid performer for San Francisco looks to be a permanent feature in the 49er’s backfield for the rest of his career. Taking to his Twitter account, Juszczyk announced the news saying:
“Looking forward to showing that the juice is always worth the squeeze.”
Time will tell if that is in fact true but he is certainly a welcome addition to an already healthy backfield.
With the draft fast approaching and free agency in full swing, the priority for the 49ers has to be the decision at quarterback. Whether or not it’s Jimmy Garappolo, a decision has to be made so that the process for 2021 can truly begin.
Trent Williams is back along with other players from their own roster and some from elsewhere and the 49ers look like being challengers in 2021. A decision at quarterback and some young talent in the draft could have San Francisco back at the top of the NFC West.
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