Trent Williams has played 120 games over nine NFL seasons and is 31 years old.
That’s a lot of mileage.
But the seven-time Pro Bowl tackle, just acquired by the 49ers, apparently is feeling like a new man. After sitting out all of the 2019 season in a dispute with Washington – the team that drafted him in the first round out of Oklahoma in 2010 – Williams told ex-teammate Clinton Portis he feels rejuvenated.
“He’s been out of football, and I think it’s refreshing that he’s been out of football,” Portis, now a Washington broadcaster, said recently on 95.7 The Game. “And it’s allowed him to heal and … it’s allowed him to patch up.”
Williams should fit in quickly with the 49ers offense at left tackle, where he’ll replace the recently retired Joe Staley. Williams played for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in Washington, where Shanahan served as offensive coordinator. Despite being 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, Washington – like Staley – can move, pull and make blocks downfield. He’s huge but mobile and athletic, a great fit with Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. As Portis said, “Trent Williams is a beast.”
Williams is signed through 2020 and is due to make $12.5 million, but could become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Shanahan, who’s looking forward to working with Williams again, says Williams has told him he wants to focus on 2020 and isn’t worried about getting a new deal at this time.
“Trent has been out of football for a year and a half, and Trent made it clear to everyone he wants to come back and didn’t want to do a deal right away,” Shanahan told ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner. “He wanted to play and try to get back into it and see where he was with the rest of the league and pick up where he left off. That’s one of the reasons we were able to get him and get him for what we did. I think it really helped us in the situation we were in.”
General manager John Lynch said the 49ers were fortunate they were able to get Williams to take over for Staley. If Williams is energized and ready to play again, it will be a positive for both the Niners and Williams.
“You’re losing a great player like Joe at a very critical position, to be able to have everything line up that he was available right then and for us to be able to land him, I think very fortuitous for us, and we’re very excited about that,” said Lynch.