In the early morning hours of Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers came to terms with one of their own: offensive tackle Trent Williams, widely regarded as the crown jewel of this year’s free agency market. The Kansas City Chiefs (and the Chicago Bears) were reportedly involved until the end.
Trent Williams and the San Francisco 49ers deal is for 6 years, $138 million.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 17, 2021
He is the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
Of the $55,100,000 guaranteed
$30,100,000 million is a signing bonus.
The deal was done by @elsportsllc@loyalty24_7
We will likely learn the details of the contract structure at some point Wednesday, but six years for $138 million seems like an awful lot for an offensive lineman who will be 33 when the 2021 season begins. In the end, Williams had bidders — the Chiefs included — and he received the compensation he was seeking.
What did we learn from the Chiefs’ interest?
Well, first, the obvious — the Chiefs are seeking a day-one starting left tackle and do not feel overly comfortable with their options currently on the roster (Martinas Rankin, Lucas Niang, etc.).
What do they do from here?
On the open market, there are some good-but-not-elite options at starting tackle, such as former Vikings tackle Riley Reiff, former Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva or former Bears tackle Bobby Massie. The Chiefs could call about Orlando Brown, but do we really believe the Baltimore Ravens are going to be eager to bolster what is potentially their greatest AFC obstacle over the next decade?
There is also a chance the team could bring Eric Fisher back for a cheaper figure after the market settles, but whether he will be ready to start for Week 1 in 2021 is unknown at this time. Mitchell Schwartz probably fits into this category if he chooses not to retire.
If none of those options are appealing, the Chiefs could build from the inside out by calling in an old friend — center Rodney Hudson — or former Patriots center David Andrew (hey, Joe Thuney), going with a draft pick on the left and possibly Niang on the right with some very, very good veterans to guide them. As another reminder, the out-of-retirement offensive guard, Kyle Long, is due to visit the Chiefs on Wednesday.
The bottom line is while it seems Williams-Thuney seemed to be plan A, the Brett Veach team will now move on to plan B. We should learn what that is in the coming days — or at this rate, hours.