Trent Williams

49ers OL Trent Williams Considering Retirement?

Eyeing his 14th professional season, 49ers offensive lineman Trent Williams is considering hanging up his cleats. Following another deep playoff run that ended in disappointment, the 49ers All-Pro offensive lineman admitted that he’s contemplating retirement.

“It’s a long season,” Williams said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “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 (2023) 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, especially at the end the year like this, 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 time and we’ll see how that goes going forward.”

Williams hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. This past season, he earned his second-straight first-team All-Pro nod and his third-straight Pro Bowl appearance. While he told Branch that he’s still able to generate hype for playoff games, he acknowledged that the monotony of the regular season is starting to get tiresome. When asked about the lineman’s comments, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan opined that Williams was simply reflecting on the season vs. seriously contemplating retirement.

“If everyone had to do a press conference and talk for a while after these games, I’m sure we’d say a lot of things that didn’t tell you guys exactly everything that’s going to happen for the next eight months, but I didn’t read his words as that’s a big thing for him,” Shanahan said (via Jacob Hutchinson of KNBR.com). “I know Trent loves football. I know it’s very hard at his age, in any situation, to do what you do for that long and come up short, but I’d be really surprised if Trent wasn’t fired up in a few weeks.”

Williams has plenty of financial incentive to stick around the NFL. He inked a six-year, $138MM deal with San Francisco in 2021 and is set to earn close to $40MM in base salary over the next two years.

The offensive lineman isn’t the only 49ers veteran who’s discussing his NFL future. However, unlike Williams, kicker Robbie Gould is making it clear that he wants to stick around.

“I’m nowhere near retiring,” Gould said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area on Twitter). “I got a lot left to do from a career perspective–No. 1 being winning a Super Bowl. And, two, I’m pretty close to a lot of milestones I think would be pretty neat to be able to accomplish.”

The 40-year-old kicker has spent the past six seasons in San Francisco, connecting on 87.5 percent of his field goal attempts. Gould connected on 27 of his 32 field goal attempts this past season while also setting a career-high with 50 extra point makes. A strong 2023 season could put Gould in the top-five on the all-time field goals list.

49ers Getting Key Starters Back Against Chiefs

San Francisco obviously got a big boost in acquiring former Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey this week, although his impact for Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the Chiefs is still yet to be determined. Well, the good news keeps rolling in for the 49ers as three starters in defensive end Nick Bosa, offensive tackle Trent Williams, and safety Jimmie Ward are all set to play this week as the team hosts Kansas City, according to a tweet from NFL Network’s Taylor Bisciotti.

Bosa returns to the lineup after missing last week’s game, a loss to the Falcons, with a groin injury that knocked him out in the first half of the team’s win over the Panthers in the week prior. Bosa should return his normal dominance to the Niners defense. In five games this year, Bosa has 6.0 sacks, 6.0 tackles for loss, and 16 quarterback hits. His presence will be a big boost against the wily Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.

San Francisco hasn’t seen Williams on the field since the star tackle went to the locker room in the third quarter of a Week 3 matchup against the Broncos. The 49ers offense has been relying on backup swing tackle Jaylon Moore during Williams’ absence, and, while he has filled in admirably, the return of the nine-time Pro Bowl tackle, Williams, will be a welcome addition.

While the 49ers have also been utilizing and enjoying the depth of their safety position, they will welcome the return of safety Jimmie Ward. The ninth-year veteran has enjoyed a starting role in San Francisco since 2015 with only injuries here and there limiting his playing time. Ward had returned from injured reserve against the Panthers, after missing the first four weeks of the season, but suffered a broken hand on the opening kickoff and left the game. After sitting out last week, the Niners are ready to put Ward back on the field. He’ll sport a full club cast on his left hand and, depending on how he’s feeling on the field, they’ll likely be careful with his return to avoid any more stints on the injured lists, meaning Tashaun Gipson, who has been starting in Ward’s absence, could still see some significant snaps.

While we still can’t be sure just how much McCaffrey will be a part of San Francisco’s gameplan, the addition of Bosa, Williams, and Ward bodes well for the 49ers’ chances against one of the juggernauts of the AFC.

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Wilson, Rams

The 49ers were without Trent Williams on Monday, and while they won a fairly one-sided game over the Rams, it came with another tackle injury. Colton McKivitz became the latest 49er to sustain an MCL sprain. Like Elijah Mitchell and Azeez Al-Shaair, Kyle Shanahan expects his swing tackle to miss approximately eight weeks. Rookie Jaylon Moore, who replaced Williams against the Broncos while McKivitz was not at 100%, will be the next man up at left tackle.

That said, the 49ers demoted two-year right guard starter Daniel Brunskill because partly because they viewed him as an ideal swing backup. Shanahan said Brunskill will be considered for blindside fill-in duty, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News notes (via Twitter). Brunskill, who is in his fourth 49ers season, debuted Monday after missing the first three games due to injury. The former UDFA would inject some potentially necessary experience into the mix for a 49ers team still using a mostly unseasoned group of interior O-linemen this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Contract issues and a steady relationship deterioration drove the Seahawks to trade Russell Wilson, but the likely Hall of Fame-bound quarterback’s willingness to run also played a role in the team deciding to move on. The Seahawks believed Wilson’s willingness to use his legs would decrease as he aged, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Wilson, 33, averaged 5.5 carries and 30 yards per game as a Seahawk and has been one of the best running QBs in NFL history. Wilson’s 4,740 career rushing yards are fourth all time among QBs — behind only Michael Vick, Cam Newton and Randall Cunningham. Wilson rushed for 849 yards in 2014 and topped 500 four more times — most recently in 2020. But in 2021, Seattle’s starter — albeit during a season in which he missed three games due to a finger injury — only rushed for 183 yards. Although the 11th-year veteran has been effective when scrambling as a Bronco, he has been reluctant to do so. Wilson, who has expressed a desire to extend his career into his 40s, has totaled 13 carries for 51 yards this season.
  • Williams does not expect to miss too much time. Given a four- to six-week timetable, the All-Pro left tackle told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson he is “80% sure” he will beat that four-week mark (Twitter link). Williams, 34, suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 3. Beating the timetable would mean a possible return for the 49ers’ Week 7 game against the Chiefs. San Francisco could certainly use its star blocker in that game, but judging by how the team is playing it with its batch of players rehabbing MCL sprains, it would not surprise if the team exercised caution with its valuable O-line asset.
  • 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner is back with the team after being away for several months, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. The 73-year-old assistant had been away from the team since undergoing two surgeries early this offseason. Turner has been an integral assistant for both Kyle and Mike Shanahan, being the Broncos’ running backs coach throughout the latter’s 14-year Denver stay. Turner has been with the 49ers since they hired Kyle Shanahan in 2017.
  • The Rams not only lost another interior offensive line starter Monday, when Coleman Shelton suffered a high ankle sprain, but they left San Francisco with starting safety Jordan Fuller out. The young defender is facing a two- to four-week absence to a hamstring strain, Sean McVay said.

49ers LT Trent Williams Suffers High Ankle Sprain

3:51pm: Williams does indeed have a high ankle sprain, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed (Twitter link via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner). The swelling will need to go down before a firm timetable can be established, but the 49ers will likely be without their blindside blocker for roughly 4-6 weeks.

9:06am: Trent Williams exited last night’s game against the Broncos in the third quarter and was unable to return. The team believes they are aware of the specifics of his injury, one which could see him miss time. 

Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated, via NFL.com’s Grant Gordon, that Williams likely suffered a high ankle sprain. The injury occurred on the play during which quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo stepped out of the endzone for what turned out to be a game-altering safety. Williams elected not to use a cart to be taken off the field.

The 34-year-old has been relatively healthy during his tenure with the 49ers, which began immediately after he missed the entire 2019 campaign. He has played in 32 regular season contests in the Bay Area, along with all three of the team’s playoff games last year. 2020 saw him continue his elite play, and led to him signing a six-year, $138MM deal the following offseason to stay with the 49ers and become the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman of all time. His performance last season did nothing to suggest the team would come to regret that investment.

In the first two-plus games of this season, the nine-time Pro Bowler has been viewed relatively well by PFF, though his grades fall well short of those he received during the previous two years in particular. Any extended absence would deal a significant blow to San Francisco’s offensive front, one which lost starters Laken Tomlinson and Alex Mack during the offseason. The move of 2021 second-rounder Aaron Banks to LG opened up a spot for rookie Spencer Burford to start at the opposite guard spot, while Jake Brendel ascended to the first-team center role to complete the team’s interior o-line transformation.

Filling in for Williams to finish the contest was Jaylon MooreA fifth-round pick last year, the Western Michigan alum started three of his seven appearances as a rookie, but last night marked his first usage on offense in 2022. He could be in line for a starter’s workload for some time, pending the duration of Williams’ absence.

49ers OT Trent Williams Reworks Contract

The 49ers have opened up a chunk of cap space this morning. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), left tackle Trent Williams has converted a part of his base contract into a signing bonus.

Specifically, the team took $5.45MM of Williams’ base salary and turned it into a signing bonus. This move ended up saving the front office about $4.36MM against the cap.

Williams joined the 49ers prior to the 2020 campaign, and following a season where he earned Pro Football Focus’ top grade among offensive tackles, San Francisco handed him a whopping six-year, $138.06MM deal, making him the highest-paid OL in NFL history. The contract included more than $55MM in guaranteed money and a $30MM signing bonus.

The veteran started all 15 games for the 49ers in 2021, and he earned his first career first-team All-Pro nod as a result of his performance (Williams earned second-team honors in 2015). He once again graded as PFF’s top offensive tackle, and through two games this season, he current sits 12th on the site’s list among 66 qualifying OTs.

Latest On 49ers’ Offensive Line Situation

Last year saw the 49ers advance to their second NFC Championship game in the last three years, but the offensive line that took them there is set to look a bit different as San Francisco readies for the 2022 NFL season. The 49ers’ left guard for the last five seasons, Laken Tomlinson, is now a Jet, Tom Compton, who started seven regular season games and all three playoff games at right tackle for the team when Mike McGlinchey went down with an injury last year, is now in Denver, and last year’s starting center, Alex Mack, officially announced his retirement this week. 

San Francisco should be set at left tackle and right guard with 12-year veteran Trent Williams manning the blindside and Daniel Brunskill starting just right of center for the past two seasons. Though Compton, who played well in his time as an injury-replacement last year, is gone, the 49ers do return McGlinchey from injury to fill the right tackle spot. McGlinchey is heading into a contract year and will try to earn himself a solid second deal with his production this season. He’s been strong while run-blocking in his career, but started off with some struggles in pass-protection. McGlinchey was showing some improvement in his pass-pro before his injury last season, and the 49ers will likely give him a chance to show he can be the whole package.

With those three spots manned, the conversation now turns to left guard and center. The favorite to fill in at left guard is 2021 second-round draft pick Aaron Banks. Banks was slowed in his rookie-season by a preseason shoulder injury, leading to him appearing in nine games but only seeing five offensive snaps last season, getting most of his playing time on special teams. McGlinchey’s former-teammate at Notre Dame made tremendous progress throughout the season, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan even said that Banks could have replaced Brunskill in the lineup late last season, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team held off on making that switch as they surged into the postseason with plenty of success, but with an opening at guard this year, it’s hard to imagine Banks not getting his opportunity.

At center, the options are much less clear-cut. With Mack gone, the only player on the roster with an NFL start at center is former undrafted free agent Jake Brendel, who started three games for the Dolphins in 2018. Brendel has been taking first-team snaps at center in practices, according to another article from Branch. General manager John Lynch claims that the team has “a lot of confidence in (Brendel’s) ability,” despite Brendel not being “a household name.” The 49ers also brought in their own undrafted rookie this year in Dohnovan West, who was Arizona State’s starting center all three years of his collegiate career.

Unless San Francisco plans to try some other rostered offensive line reserves at center this year, they may need to go to the free agent market. This would continue a trend that Lynch and the Niners have followed over the past few years of signing an impact free agent interior lineman in the weeks after the Draft. 2017 saw the addition of eventual starting right guard Brandon Fusco in early May, 2018 saw the addition of eventual starting right guard Michael Person in early May, and 2019 saw the addition of part-time starting center Ben Garland in late April.

Available free agent centers include NFLPA president J.C. Tretter, former Broncos and Panthers center Matt Paradis, former Bengals starting center Trey Hopkins, and former Texans lineman Nick Martin. Lynch may mean what he says and Brendel may be their man in the middle, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 49ers act on some of the available experience out there on the market.

With three spots filled with experienced starters and two very real options to fill the other two spots, San Francisco is on their way to building their offensive line for next season. Whether the five lineman running with the first team now will be the Week 1 starters is yet to be seen, but Lynch and Shanahan are aware of their options and may not be done addressing the position group just yet.

Latest on Niners’ Trent Williams

After injuring his ankle in the 49ers’ Divisional Round win over the Packers, offensive tackle Trent Williams is looking likely to start in the NFC Championship game tomorrow in Los Angeles, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. In the tweet, Wagoner relayed a message from head coach Kyle Shanahan that Williams is adamant that he will be able to play and that Shanahan would be surprised if he doesn’t. 

There was a bit of concern for Williams in Green Bay last Saturday night when he was seen on crutches after the game. The first-team All-Pro appeared to injure his ankle early in the third quarter, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn, but finished the game with some ankle tape and some true grit. Williams was a question mark to play in the team’s Wild Card win over the Cowboys due to an elbow injury suffered in Week 17. He sat out the regular season finale – which would have ended San Francisco’s season if not for a come-from-behind victory over their next opponent, the Rams – but was able to start once again for both playoff games. The nine-time Pro Bowler has continued to play at an elite level in his second season with the 49ers, an encouraging sign given that he is under contract with the team for another five years after this season concludes.

Wagoner continued in a follow up tweet that running back Jeff Wilson is the only other player on the injury report, being the listed as questionable alongside Williams.

Latest On 49ers’ Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel

There was cause for concern for the 49ers after their upset win over the Packers on Saturday. Left tackle Trent Williams suffered an ankle injury in the game, and was seen on crutches afterward. 

However, head coach Kyle Shanahan provided an encouraging update on Monday. He said that X-rays on the ankle came back negative, and that he’ll be “managed during practice” throughout the week. He admitted, though, that the 33-year-old’s availability for Sunday’s NFC Championship game is uncertain at this point.

Williams was a question mark to play in the team’s Wild Card win over the Cowboys due to an elbow injury suffered in Week 17. He sat out the regular season finale – which would have ended San Francisco’s season if not for a come-from-behind victory over their next opponent, the Rams – but was able to start once again for both playoff games. The nine-time Pro Bowler has continued to play at an elite level in his second season with the 49ers, an encouraging sign give that he is under contract with the team for another five years after this.

Shanahan also provided an update on Deebo Samuel. He said the hybrid receiver/running back took a helmet to the knee during Saturday’s game, but that he “should be at practice” tomorrow. Especially if Williams were able to suit up, the undisputed catalyst of the 49ers’ offense would once again play a major role in trying to help the team reach a second Super Bowl in the past three years.

49ers’ Trent Williams Intends To Play Sunday

When the 49ers take the field on Wild Card Weekend, they could have their star left tackle back in action. Trent Williams revealed that his elbow injury will not require surgery, and that he intends to play on Sunday against the Cowboys (Twitter link via The San Jose Time’s Cam Innman). 

Williams suffered the injury early on during the 49ers’ win over the Texans in Week 17. He continued playing, however, stating that “I gritted through it and paid the price later”. The injury kept him out of the regular season finale against the Rams, in which the 49ers erased a 17-0 deficit to ultimately win in overtime and clinch the NFC’s final playoff berth. The nine-time Pro Bowler added that he was not a fan of using a brace to support the elbow, which is feeling much better than it was last week, and is now attempting to use tape instead.

The 33-year-old ended up playing in 15 games this year, his second in San Francisco. Still one of the best left tackles in the league, he signed a six year, $138MM extension last offseason to stay in the Bay Area that will keep him under contract until he is 38. Just like this past season, his 2022 base salary of $7.25MM is fully guaranteed, and his cap hit will jump to $14.12MM. Regardless of his availability for Sunday, then, he should be rehabbed and back at full strength by the beginning of next season at a minimum.

49ers To Start Jimmy Garoppolo In Week 7

Jimmy Garoppolo will return to a starting role for the 49ers this week. The fifth-year 49er is off the team’s injury report and good to go for Sunday night’s game against the Colts.

Trey Lance will not suit up due to the knee sprain he sustained in Week 5. San Francisco’s bye week allowed Garoppolo to recover in time to become the rare incumbent to recapture his job from a rookie-year first-rounder. Though these situations usually end with the younger talent taking over for good, Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo would keep his job when healthy.

A high ankle sprain felled Garoppolo midway through last season, and he did not return. This year’s calf ailment proved to be milder, and Garoppolo will come back after missing just one game. The 30-year-old veteran — after being mentioned in trades during the offseason and viewed as a lame duck after the 49ers traded two future first-rounders for Lance — will have an interesting opportunity to submit a case he remains the best option for the 49ers to reach their 2021 ceiling.

Garoppolo is unlikely to have his top offensive lineman available, however. The 49ers declared Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams doubtful for Week 7 due to ankle and elbow injuries.