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If Trent Williams is the same Trent Williams that he used to be — and all signs point to a year layoff for an athletic phenom and highly motivated tackle being a benefit — then the San Francisco 49ers will want to keep him. Once he’s a free agent, he’s fair game to the NFL’s free agent sharks, and the 49ers may not be able to (or may not be willing to) offer him the best deal. For now, though, he’s back playing under Kyle Shanahan, on a competitive team, which he’s stated is exactly where he wants to be.
After a year off, and with the very real chance to re-sign Williams after this season, the 49ers made a clever contract move, according to Ian Rapoport, which effectively amounts to a contract sweetener.
From NFL Now: New #49ers LT Trent Williams told me on RapSheet + Friends that he's agreed to a tweaked final year of his contract, pending physical. My understanding is it gives him some upfront money (a nice thing, since he earned zero last year). pic.twitter.com/fAf28yGm15
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 28, 2020
This doesn’t appear to be adding any actual money to Williams’ deal, but giving him more guaranteed up front. Again, this is effectively a pre-free agency nicety by the 49ers that they may want to point to when negotiations begin.