SF 49ers free agency: Trent Williams must be re-signed at all costs

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Trent Williams should be a priority re-sign for the SF 49ers this offseason.

There are going to be some big decisions for the SF 49ers heading into the 2021 NFL season. The reason being that a number of players on the current roster are set to hit free agency. And that essentially means that a lot of players will not be back.

Even cornerback Richard Sherman, when speaking with Niners insider Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, insinuated he may not be back next season. The reasons he stated were due to the shrinking salary cap and the numerous amount of young players who need to get paid.

There is, however, a pecking order when it comes to which free agents must be re-signed. Some should hold a much higher priority than others.

Obviously, extending linebacker Fred Warner is a must. He has proven to be a top player in the league at his position. So, that might actually take precedence before signing some free agents. But there is one player who should be a top priority if not the top priority to re-sign.

That player is offensive tackle Trent Williams.

On an offensive line that has struggled with injury and inconsistent play, Williams remains the one positive in that position group. He has started every game this season for the SF 49ers minus the one against the Green Bay Packers due to being put on the reserve/COVID-19 list. In his 12 starts so far this season, Williams has garnered a 90.1 Pro Football Focus rating. That puts him second amongst all offensive tackles, only behind the Packers’ David Bakhtiari.

To begin the 2020 season, the SF 49ers lost their 13-year veteran left tackle, Joe Staley, to retirement. That was a considerable loss and left a void on the offensive line not only talent-wise but also as far as veteran leadership.

The SF 49ers were desperate to fill that void and made a trade for Williams rather than finding a new left tackle in the draft. And it looked to have paid off as the seven-time Pro Bowler didn’t look as though he missed a step from sitting out all of the 2019 season.

In his first game with the SF 49ers, Williams was on his A-game and even delivered a highlight-level pancake block to EDGE Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals. Williams has continued to perform at a high level since then. He also has a good chance of continuing his streak of Pro Bowl appearances to eight this season.

This season has been a tough one for the SF 49ers and at the moment playoff chances are looking slim. So time to at least start planning for next season, right?

The current squad has a lot of talent that the team would be wise to bring back next season. But since there is a limited amount of cap space and a vast number of players becoming free agents, it’s safe to say many players will ultimately end up fining new teams in 2021.

Next. 5 free agents who can make 49ers Super Bowl contenders in 2021. dark

The SF 49ers should make absolutely certain, though, Williams does not find a new team and he remains in red and gold for the foreseeable future.