Cons for 49ers Re-Signing Trent Williams
Not too long ago, the Niners would have been flush with salary cap space to make a new deal for Trent Williams happen with relative ease. That’s not the case now.
According to Over the Cap, San Francisco is projected to have $49,781,160 in cap space for 2021. But that doesn’t include, because of 2020 rollover, the contracts needed for most of the team’s rookie class, nor does it include what will be a lucrative extension for All-Pro tight end George Kittle. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and K’Waun Williams’ deals are expiring this year. So is fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s contract. The 49ers have to also think about long-term deals for Mike McGlinchey, linebacker Fred Warner, EDGE Nick Bosa and other key players in the near future, too.
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Soon, that near-$50 million cap space will evaporate awfully quickly.
Williams sitting out 2019 could partially have to do with Washington’s own situation, yes. He’s in a position to win a Super Bowl ring in San Francisco now, and there’s always the chance he accepts a more team-friendly deal.
But according to Spotrac.com’s market-value tool, Williams would be worth a new contract worth $15.4 million annually, and their speculation is three years, $46.4 million. There are ways to lessen the upfront impact, potentially creating voidable years to spread out a would-be signing bonus. That’s something the 49ers have done, previously.
It’s important to note, however, Williams is on the wrong side of 30 years old. And tacking on those voidable years would also lessen the team’s ability to handle those pending contracts.
Especially if the NFL’s salary cap fails to increase by much anytime soon.
Either way, there are risks associated with a long-term deal for Williams. Plus, considering the 2021 NFL Draft is pretty deep with solid options in the first three rounds, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the 49ers go that route instead.
As far as a conclusion is concerned, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Niners “let this play out” for a while to see what kind of value Williams will offer beyond this season.