Star offensive tackle Trent Williams just wrapped up his first season with the San Francisco 49ers, but had a chance to switch teams again should he have chosen to. Williams was an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and one of the 49ers' most elite ones at that. The star left tackle did not allow a sack in nine straight games last season, according to the 49ers' official website, and earned his eighth Pro Bowl bid. He was graded as Pro Football Focus' top-rated tackle among 93 qualifiers, and proved that taking 2019 off wasn't a big deal. Many teams were interested in his services, but Williams decided to stay in The Bay.
Williams was originally drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Washington Football Team, but had a dramatic falling out with the franchise in 2019 that had to do with Washington failing to diagnose a very rare form of cancer that was potentially deadly. With the franchise facing several issues including a coaching change, front-office drama and a team-name change, Williams was finally given permission to seek a trade after sitting out the 2019 season, and the 49ers sent over a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick during the 2020 NFL Draft to bring in Williams to replace the legendary Joe Staley.
San Francisco was always the favorite to keep Williams, so it's no surprise the two sides were able to get a deal done. Below, we will revisit Williams' market projection, check out his scouting report and all of the news about his short stint in free agency.
Williams' market-value projection
Spotrac projected Williams could sign a three-year, $54,780,141 deal that carried an average annual salary of $18.2 million. This would have made him the No. 3 highest-paid left tackle (up from No. 12) behind David Bakhtiari and Laremy Tunsil, and the No. 39 highest-paid NFL player (up from No. 115).
Instead, Williams received a six-year deal worth up to $138.06 million, making him the highest-paid offensive tackle in NFL history
Scouting report on Williams (pros and cons)
- Athletic freak
- Veteran who has consistent success in run and pass blocking
- On-field leader
- Has not played a full 16-game season since 2013
Free agent timeline
Trent Williams agrees to six-year deal with 49ers worth up to $138 million
March 17: Trent Williams is staying with the San Francisco 49ers, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirms. Williams reached an agreement with the 49ers on a six-year deal worth up to $138.06 million, making him the highest-paid offensive tackle in NFL history. Williams will received $55.1 million guaranteed upon signing the contract. Williams' average annual value of $23.01 million is the highest ever for a tackle, surpassing Ronnie Stanley -- who is currently making $19.75 million per year. Williams started 14 games for the 49ers in his first season with the team, allowing just four sacks in 957 snaps. He committed 10 penalties on the season, but was a stalwart for San Francisco at left tackle -- an upgrade over the consistency the 49ers got from Joe Staley for years.
Read more from Jeff Kerr's story, here.
Trent Williams, Taylor Moton lead thin crop of free agent offensive tackles
Feb. 19: CBS NFL Writer Jared Dubin broke down the free agent market for offensive tackles this offseason, and he has Williams at the top of his rankings. Read his analysis, here.