The San Francisco 49ers reportedly won't be able to use the franchise tag on offensive tackle Trent Williams after the 2020 season because of the reworked contract he signed following an April trade from the Washington Redskins.
ESPN's Field Yates reported the update Tuesday and noted the sides' "eventual goal" is to reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension.
Williams is entering the final season of a five-year, $68 million contract he signed with Washington. He can become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
The reworked deal with the Niners included more upfront money after he sat out the entire 2019 season because of disputes with the Redskins, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
Williams was one of the NFL's best tackles before sitting out last year. He earned seven consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 2012 through 2018.
The 31-year-old University of Oklahoma product, the fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft, said following the trade he feels "rejuvenated" after the year away.
"It's crazy being 31. I feel like I'm 25 again," Williams told reporters. "It's my first year off of football since the second grade. So that's like 25 years of straight football every August. So, my body has had a chance to rest. It's had a chance to heal. I don't know if I've ever been in a position where I didn't feel an ache or pain."
San Francisco general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan both said the trade was an upgrade for the 2020 season and had plans to focus on a possible extension in the future.
"I think the plan was to land him right now and then let the rest kind of work itself out," Shanahan said in April. "I think it's always an advantage when you get someone in the building, on your roster. Now, you've got a chance, and we'll get a really good look at him."
Williams is set to immediately take over as the Niners' starting left tackle after the retirement of Joe Staley, and he'll be in line for a lucrative contract if he returns to form.
He joins a San Francisco organization possessing high expectations after reaching the Super Bowl last season before falling short against the Kansas City Chiefs.