Trent Williams, 49ers Agree to Reported Record 6-Year Contract Worth $138M

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Trent Williams is pictured during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 37-27. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

Trent Williams has reportedly agreed to a six-year, $138 million extension with the San Francisco 49ers, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini.  

The contract makes him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Russini also noted that Williams got $55.1 million guaranteed and a $30.1 million signing bonus.

Spotrac @spotrac

Top OL Contracts 1. Trent Williams, $138M 2. Ronnie Stanley, $98.75M 3. Tyron Smith, $97.6M Top #Niners Contracts 1. Trent Williams, $138M 2. Jimmy Garoppolo, $137.5M 3. Colin Kaepernick, $114M Top OL AAV 1. Trent Williams, $23.01 2. David Bakhtiari, $23M 3. Laremy Tunsil, $22M

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

#49ers LT Trent Williams' six-year, $138.06 million deal is actually two deals: three years, $60.75 million to start, and a three-year, $77.31M option the club can exercise by April 1, 2023. If exercised, Williams' 2023 pay becomes mostly guaranteed. He gets $32.4M in Year 1.

Williams later confirmed his return in a post on his Instagram story:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Here is #49ers LT Trent Williams announcing overnight that he’s staying. https://t.co/ro10xmgjQ0

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Williams also had talks with the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears prior to returning to San Francisco.

The Niners acquired Williams from the Washington Football Team last April for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 third-rounder. Joe Staley had announced his retirement almost simultaneously with news of the trade, and a franchise with Super Bowl aspirations replaced a six-time Pro Bowler with a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Whether San Francisco could afford to re-sign Williams beyond 2020 loomed as a major question, though.

Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was due to hit the open market in 2021, and the Niners ended up trading him to the Indianapolis Colts. They also traded running back Matt Breida, another free-agent-to-be, to the Miami Dolphins.

Still, Richard Sherman, Kendrick Bourne (now with the Patriots) and Jaquiski Tartt are all out of contract this offseason, and Williams was set to join that group.

Unlike how Buckner's extension was lined up the moment he joined the Colts, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported nothing similar was in store for San Francisco and its marquee acquisition:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From @NFLTotalAccess Live: The #Redskins dealt star LT Trent Williams to the #49ers to replace retiring Joe Staley, turning a regular Saturday on its head and reuniting Williams with some old friends. There was no extension that came along with the deal and none is immiment. https://t.co/ihemafsADD

General manager John Lynch confirmed as much, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner:

"I think the plan was to land him right now and then let the rest kind of work itself out. I think it's always an advantage when you get someone in the building, on your roster. Now you've got a chance. We'll get a really good look at him. We'll see where the rest of our team is at, but right now we are just ecstatic that we were able to pull it off at a really opportune time."

Prior to the trade, Williams was one of the NFL's best blockers. The fact that he missed the entire 2019 season because of contractual and personal grievances inevitably led some to wonder if he could continue to be that dominant in 2020.

He answered the skeptics by adding yet another Pro Bowl nod to his resume, and Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson argued he was an All-Pro snub as well:

"Williams put together one of the best seasons of his career, finishing with a 91.9 overall PFF grade—the best mark in the league among tackles. This is the third time in Williams' career that he has been the best-graded tackle at PFF over a season.

"Williams allowed 19 total pressures over the season, but his run-blocking highlight reel should be sent to the Louvre. He regularly stole the very life force of defenders he was tasked with blocking, burying them to the turf and springing 49ers running backs for big gains. David Bakhtiari was a great player in his own right this season, but he played in two fewer games than Williams."

Little went right for San Francisco in 2020 as injuries piled up and played a big role in the team's 6-10 record. The Williams trade was one of the few unqualified successes.

As a one-year rental, Williams would've been worth third- and fifth-round picks since the 49ers had championship ambitions. Now that he's locked up for the next six years, the trade is looking even better.