“A Hall of Fame-caliber player like Williams performing near his peak at a premium position will do incredibly well in the open market (And Williams will get there because the 49ers agreed not to tag him),” Rosenthal wrote. “Great tackles often play well into their late 30s, which is why I fully expect Williams to become the highest-paid player at his position.”
With just a few offensive tackles available on the board, Williams will be wanted by several teams, but that doesn’t mean he will be leaving the Bay Area.
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Williams Hinted at Potential Return to Niners
Williams hopped on the Cris Collinsworth Podcast with co-host and his teammate Richard Sherman along with George Chahrouri.
Sherman gave his thought on where Williams might be next season.
“I’ve got San Francisco. I’ve got him staying in San Francisco for the faithful,” Sherman said. “I think he stays in San Francisco. I think he makes you guys happy for another 5-6 years and gets his gold jacket and then decides whether he wants it in Washington or San Francisco.”
Williams was quick to reply: “That’s not a bad take, fellas. That’s not a bad take. Y’all barking up the right tree.”
Williams was traded to the 49ers from Washington last off-season after sitting out a year due to health issues and a dispute with the organization over his treatments. Sherman and Williams are set to become unrestricted free agents when the new league year starts March 17th.
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What Kind of Deal Does Williams Want?
Also on the podcast, the eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle revealed what he was looking for in his next contract,
“I’m thinking this would be a longer deal,” Williams said. “Not longer, but a four- or five-year deal that I’m probably looking at. I’m 32 now. I’ll be 33 in July. I feel like I can play at a high level well into my (late) 30s, maybe early 40s. I don’t know. I ain’t gonna make no promises.”
Williams was drafted in 2010 at No. 4 overall by the Washington Football Team.
In 2020, Williams started 14 games, missing one game due to COVID-19 protocols and the final game of the season because of an elbow injury. And wherever he goes next, it’s still only the beginning for the veteran.
“I ain’t gonna say this is my last one because, at the end of this contract, I could be 37,” Williams said, “and I could be the same age as Jason Peters was a couple of years ago, and they may still want me to come and play left tackle. Somebody may want me to play left tackle for them, so I wouldn’t X out that possibility.
“I’m definitely poised for another, in my opinion, six seasons that I can play at a high level. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”
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