49ers OT Trent Williams enters career-defining season in 2020

Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Trent Williams, Redskins, 49ers
Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The 49ers’ blockbuster move to acquire Trent Williams could put him on a path to being one of the best offensive tackles in recent NFL history.

It was going to be almost impossible for the San Francisco 49ers to make an upgrade over their franchise stalwart, left tackle Joe Staley, when he elected to retire early in 2020.

But that’s exactly what the Niners did when they sent off two mid-round NFL Draft picks to the Washington NFL Team in exchange for 32-year-old veteran offensive tackle Trent Williams mere minutes before Staley’s retirement was announced.

And while Staley’s accolades are many and of note, Williams’ own prowess as one of the league’s best offensive linemen surely don’t go unnoticed either.

Especially all those Pro Bowls:

Trent Williams Games Fumbles Table
Game Game Fumb Fumb
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS FR Yds AV
2010 22 WAS LT 71 14 13 6
2011 23 WAS LT 71 10 10 5
2012* 24 WAS LT 71 16 16 14
2013* 25 WAS LT 71 16 16 10
2014* 26 WAS LT 71 15 15 10
2015* 27 WAS LT 71 14 14 11
2016* 28 WAS LT 71 12 12 10
2017* 29 WAS LT 71 10 10 1 0 7
2018* 30 WAS LT 71 13 13 1 2 7
Care Care 120 119 2 2 80

Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/11/2020.

This is a Hall of Fame-trajectory player. But after sitting out 2019 in hopes of landing a lucrative long-term deal with Washington, Williams ultimately was able to force his former team’s hand towards engineering the trade with San Francisco.

As a result, Williams joins forces with his old offensive coordinator in Washington, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

“This was a preferred destination of mine just because of the familiarity I had with Kyle and the offense, and obviously they have an ascending team,” Williams told 49ers.com last May. “The reason I was drafted to Washington was the way this offense marries up with my skill set. And I think it’s still the same. It’s a hand in glove fit. I know this offense like the back of my hand.”

After missing a year and refreshing his body, the seven-time Pro Bowler can cement his legacy as a potential Hall of Famer with an impact year for the Niners in 2020.

Niner Noise’s “Who Is?” series looks at how Williams actually upgrades San Francisco’s offensive line while also paying attention to some of the reasons why the veteran could miss out on some of the lofty expectations already placed upon him.