5 free-agent tackles 49ers could sign to replace Trent Williams

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 /
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Trent Williams, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

Ideally, the 49ers would like to re-sign Trent Williams instead of letting him hit the NFL free agency market. But there have to be contingency plans.

A best-case scenario for the San Francisco 49ers this offseason would be for eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams to accept a fair-but-team-friendly re-sign deal with the Niners in 2021 before he becomes a highly sought-after player on the NFL free agency market.

The next-best scenario would be for Williams to accept what would be a lofty deal except for it to be backloaded to help account for the fact San Francisco has an estimated $13.24 million in cap space for 2021, according to Over the Cap. While Williams might not receive what would be OTC’s valuation of his 2020 efforts — $16.04 million — in year one of a new deal, he’d at least have the knowledge of getting his value once the cap eventually resets to more favorable conditions in 2022 and beyond.

Yet there’s a real chance Williams walks this offseason. He’ll have no shortage of suitors, and plenty of those teams likely on the hunt for a tackle of Williams’ ilk boast more than enough cap space to lure the 32 year old away from the 49ers.

The Niners could always turn to the NFL Draft, and this year’s class is deep with offensive line talent. Yet plugging in a rookie at left tackle could be risky, and San Francisco might want to explore some contingent free-agent options to replace him, too.

Such as these five offensive tackles.

No. 5: Jared Veldheer, Green Bay Packers

The days of 33-year-old veteran Jared Veldheer being a regular starter have long since passed, and he’s now become little more than a journeyman reserve option, bouncing back and forth between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts since his initial retirement in early 2019.

Veldheer saw only 67 snaps last season, but his familiarity with a 49ers-like offense in Green Bay could make him a cheap commodity to at least round out the depth chart.

Remember, the Niners’ O-line depth was tested to the max the last two seasons, and there haven’t exactly been any serious contenders to take over for Williams on a full-time role going forward.

Still, San Francisco could use some experience on its depth chart with the potential upside of finding someone as a stopgap option until Williams’ long-term replacement can be identified.