MARCH 23, 3:09pm: Williams’ one-year deal is now official, having been announced by the 49ers in a press release.
Per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter link), GM Trent Baalke has said the Niners still plan to sign Williams to a long-term deal. However, that will obviously be dependent on his health.
MARCH 21, 1:21pm: Nearly two weeks after the 49ers and Williams agreed to what was expected to be a five-year contract worth more than $25MM, the two sides have now struck a deal on a reworked agreement for just one year, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
According to Maiocco, Williams’ recovery from an ankle injury will take longer than initially planned, prompting the team to revisit the terms of the agreement before the deal became official. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that the defensive lineman underwent ankle surgery after the 2015 season, creating some uncertainty about his availability for the 2016 season opener.
Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), Williams’ new one-year deal has a base value of $3MM, including a $1MM base salary and $2MM in per-game roster bonuses. Wilson says the deal features $2MM in playing-time incentives, while Schefter tweets than it can be worth up to $6MM in total.
MARCH 9, 9:48am: Williams’ new five-year deal with the 49ers will be worth between $5MM and $6MM per year, tweets Rapoport.
7:16am: The 49ers have reached an agreement with one of their own free agents, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is re-signing defensive tackle Ian Williams to a five-year contract.
Coming off a leg injury that ended his 2014 season, Williams was a 16-game starter for the first time in 2015, and looked very good at nose tackle for the Niners, racking up 65 tackles and a sack. Pro Football Focus ranked Williams 18th out of 123 qualified interior defenders for the season, assigning him a particularly strong grade as a run defender.
Re-signing Williams to a new deal represents a nice start for this Niners’ offseason, after the team saw a handful of core defenders – Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, and Chris Borland, among others – depart via retirement or free agency during last year’s offseason. While the team figures to pursue other additions on defense, the fact that Williams will return in the middle of the defensive line should provide some nice continuity as the defense transitions from Eric Mangini‘s system to Jim O’Neil‘s.
Williams ranked as the 28th overall free agent on PFR’s top 50 list.