Trent Williams

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.

Trent Williams: Chiefs Deal Felt ‘Imminent’

Trent Williams opted to re-sign with the 49ers, doing so on a record-setting agreement for an offensive lineman. However, the veteran left tackle said Tuesday he felt a Chiefs agreement was “imminent,” via ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner (on Twitter).

The Chiefs were in talks with Williams, who said those discussions reached a point that had him believing he was on track to join the two-time reigning AFC champions. However, Williams placed a call to Kyle Shanahan to relay where his negotiations with the Chiefs stood, and the 49ers later finalized a deal to retain their 2020 trade acquisition.

Signed to a six-year, $138.1MM deal, Williams said he had promised Shanahan he would keep him in the loop on his negotiations. That pledge led to the 49ers giving Williams his long-sought-after third NFL contract. It came in much higher than his second NFL deal — a five-year, $68MM pact in 2015.

Taking over for 13-year starter Joe Staley, Williams made his eighth Pro Bowl last season. The lineman recently told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner (Twitter link) that he believes he can play until he’s 40, and the player “has something to prove” as he looks to play out his six-year pact.

Kansas City was prepared to authorize two monster O-line contracts, having already received a commitment from former New England guard Joe Thuney on a five-year, $80MM accord, but the Chiefs are still in need at left tackle. The team released eight-year starter Eric Fisher earlier this month, with All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz joining him as a cap casualty. The Chiefs have since re-signed Mike Remmers, their left tackle from Super Bowl LV, and he may have a clearer-than-expected path to becoming Schwartz’s replacement on the right side. While it should not be considered a certainty Remmers will start at right tackle, the team does not have a surefire left tackle starter at this point.

This near-agreement is similar to the Chiefs’ pursuit of Earl Thomas in 2019. The perennial Pro Bowl safety indicated he was all set to sign with the Chiefs on a one-year deal, but the Ravens swooped in at the 11th hour with a better offer.

Chiefs Were Close To Signing OL Trent Williams

Trent Williams was *this* close to signing with Kansas City before he signed his massive deal with the 49ers. Matt Barrows of the Athletic tweets that the Chiefs “were the runners up in the Trent Williams negotiations,” noting that the veteran was very close to signing with the defending AFC champions.

This is a fine consolation for the Chiefs front office considering the giant contract that Williams ultimately got from San Francisco. The eight-time Pro Bowler inked a six-year, $138.06MM deal with the 49ers, including $55.1MM guaranteed and a $30.1MM signing bonus. The contract made Williams the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league.

The 32-year-old blocker graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 overall offensive tackle in 2020 despite sitting out the entire 2019 campaign. The 32-year-old was widely regarded as the best available free agent in this year’s class, regardless of position.

The Chiefs are committed to revamping Patrick Mahomes‘ offensive line this offseason. While they may have struck out with Williams, they’ve managed to still add some reinforcement. The team inked Joe Thuney to a five-year deal, and we learned earlier today that the team had signed Kyle Long out of retirement.

49ers Re-Sign Trent Williams To Six-Year, $138MM Deal

The 49ers have re-signed Trent Williams to a six-year, $138.06MM deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The deal comes with $55.1MM guaranteed and a $30.1MM signing bonus and makes Williams the highest-paid offensive lineman. 

The Chiefs, Colts, and Bears all wanted Williams, but the incumbents won out. There were, at least, consolation prizes for the Chiefs and Bears — Kansas City landed top guard Joe Thuney while the Bears allocated their dollars towards quarterback Andy Dalton and a new deal for (not-as-impressive) tackle Germain Ifedi.

The 32-year-old blocker graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 overall tackle last year after sitting out the entire 2019 season. He’ll turn 33 in July, but he was widely regarded as the best available free agent in this year’s class, regardless of position.

The current rate for top offensive tackles is around $22MM per year. Despite his age, Williams has topped that with an average annual value of $23MM. Previously, the watermark was held by Packers lineman David Bakhtiari, who inked a four-year, $92 million extension back in November. He could have gotten those dollars anywhere, but Williams has said all along that he’d like to play out the rest of his career in San Francisco.

San Francisco would be the leading candidate regardless,” Williams said earlier this year. “So even if it does make it to free agency, it won’t be because I’m trying to go somewhere else. It may be simply because I want to see my value. It’s been 11 years in this league, and I have yet to see a franchise left tackle go to the open market. I think it would be interesting to kind of see what [my] value holds.”

Williams’ value is mostly predicated on his world-class performance, but it was also lifted by the lack of quality offensive linemen available in this year’s class. Rather than reaching for subpar protection, the Niners shelled out the big bucks for one of the best tackles in the business.

Latest On Trent Williams’ Market

As expected, the market for free agent left tackle Trent Williams is very strong. Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Chiefs, Colts, Bears, and incumbent 49ers are all in the running (Twitter link). However, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune is hearing that Williams will not be heading to the Windy City (Twitter link).

We heard several days ago that San Francisco has been pushing to retain Williams, but the 32-year-old blocker sounded as if he wanted to see what the open market had in store. And he is probably happy he made that decision, because according to La Canfora, some GMs believe Williams could earn a $23MM/year deal, which would be right at the top of the LT market in terms of average annual value.

Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Chicago all qualified for the postseason in 2020, and though KC came up just a bit short in the Super Bowl, they did sign the top guard on the market, Joe Thuney. Adding Williams to Patrick Mahomes‘ offensive front would make the Chiefs an even tougher matchup than they already are.

The prospect of playing for the Chiefs’ high-flying offense could be quite appealing for Williams, who wasted away in Washington for most of his career and failed to reach the playoffs with the 49ers in 2020. Of course, Kansas City also has the best QB situation of the interested teams, as the Colts will trot out Carson Wentz, the Bears might be rolling with Andy Dalton, and the 49ers may or may not trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

After sitting out the entire 2019 season, Williams graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 overall tackle last year.

49ers Want To Retain OL Trent Williams

Earlier this week, offensive tackle Trent Williams hinted that he’d be interested in sticking with the 49ers. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (on Twitter), the 49ers are hoping that’s the case, as the organization is making a push to sign the veteran before the start of the league year on March 17.

Per Garafolo, the 49ers front office has made “strong offers” to Williams’ camp, and the organization is “hopeful” that they can get a deal done at some point next week. However, Garafolo warns that Williams won’t be taking any kind of discount to stay in San Francisco. While the offensive tackle apparently enjoyed his stint with the 49ers, he also “wants to see his value” reflected on his next contract. As Garafolo notes, Williams’ desire for a lucrative long-term pact was part of the reason why the lineman required a provision in his contract that stated that he couldn’t be slapped with the franchise tag.

Williams had a strong comeback campaign in 2020. After sitting out the entire 2019 season, Williams graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 overall tackle this past year. The current rate for top offensive tackles is around $22MM per year. At 32 years old, Williams may not be able to command that kind of AAV, but he should easily be able to secure a deal that pays him north of $18MM.

During a recent appearance on the Cris Collinsworth Podcast, Richard Sherman predicted Williams would stay with the 49ers and indicated he would play several more seasons. Also on the podcast, Williams replied (via NFL.com), “That’s not a bad take, fellas. Y’all barking up the right tree.”