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Trent Williams Says He Nearly Signed Chiefs Contract Before Record 49ers Deal

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) blocks during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

Trent Williams might have the Kansas City Chiefs to thank for ultimately becoming the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

The eight-time Pro Bowler explained Tuesday how he was getting firm interest from the Chiefs and wanted to let San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan know what was going on.

"Once I got the hunch that K.C. seemed like they were ready to make it official, I [texted] Kyle," Williams said, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner. "I couldn't even get it out and just tell him, but I was just like, 'Hey man, we need to hurry this up, if you get my drift.'"

Shanahan called Williams to discuss the situation. Per Wagoner, around an hour passed before San Francisco tabled a six-year, $138.1 million offer that included $55.1 million in guarantees.

Among offensive linemen, Williams' $23.01 million average salary narrowly surpasses that of Green Bay Packers star David Bakhtiari ($23.00 million), but the total value far outpaces the five-year, $98.75 million pact Ronnie Stanley signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

That the Chiefs were pursuing Williams doesn't come as a surprise. Kansas City released both of its starting tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, and Fisher was likely to be out for a big chunk of 2021 anyway after tearing his Achilles tendon.

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The reigning AFC champions bolstered their line by signing Joe Thuney for five years and $80 million, and adding Williams would've addressed one of their top priorities.

The 32-year-old explained remaining in San Francisco was his preference, so there wasn't much to consider when the Niners' offer arrived.

"I thought I would either get a lot of money and be somewhere I hated to be or I would be somewhere I love to be playing for a discount," he said, per Wagoner. "I definitely didn't think it would be both."

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