49ers Release DT Ian Williams From NFI

The 49ers have released defensive tackle Ian Williams from the reserve/non-football injury list with an injury settlement, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Williams was placed on NFI in July while dealing with an ankle injury.Ian Williams

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Williams, 26, originally agreed to a five-year, $26MM deal with San Francisco in the early stages of free agency in March, but the same ankle ailment that ultimately landed him on NFI forced him to accept a reworked one-year contract worth only $4MM. He hasn’t been earning that full salary while on NFI, but the settlement will allow Williams to make a bit more money that he would have on NFI, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes.

As such, the injury settlement doesn’t necessarily indicate that Williams suffered a setback in his recovery, per Barrows. Williams will now be allowed to hit free agency and search for deals with other clubs, but the 49ers remain interested in re-signing him after the season concludes. Under the league’s rules, Williams would have to wait three weeks plus the length of the settlement before re-upping with San Francisco.

A former undrafted free agent, Williams had been with the Niners for the entirety of his career, serving as a reserve from 2011-13 and becoming a starter during Jim Harbaugh‘s final season. In 2015, Williams started started 16 games for the first time. A quality run defender, Williams made 65 tackles last season and ranked as one of Pro Football Focus’ top interior defensive linemen, grading as the No. 18 overall interior defender and a top-two 3-4 nose tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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