The thick of the NFL offseason has already arrived which means free agency will soon begin in earnest. Teams cannot contact unrestricted free agents until March 15, exactly two days before the start of the 2021 league year. However, news regarding the top players will circulate before the free agency officially kicks off, and this year’s market could feature big-name talents like Dak Prescott, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, and Kenny Golladay. The franchise tag will likely remove one or more from the open market, but more will reach free agency when the legal-tampering period opens.
2020 in review
After holding out for the entire 2019 season, Trent Williams forced a trade out of Washington and onto the reigning NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers. Williams took over for the 49ers’ longtime blindside protector, Joe Staley, giving the offense security at the premier O-line position.
Williams took some time to shake off the rust, allowing four sacks during the first five weeks of the 2020 season, according to Pro Football Focus. However, from that point on, he yielded zero sacks and only 11 total pressures. Despite his age — Williams turns 33 in August — the former All-Pro offensive tackle remains a highly capable pass protector.
The NFL has no shortage of teams that could use a left tackle of Williams’ caliber. The Jacksonville Jaguars will reinforce their offensive line in anticipation of presumptive No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, though they don’t appear as close to contention as Williams presumably would prefer. To that end, the Indianapolis Colts could pursue Williams to replace retired left tackle Anthony Costanzo.
Do the 49ers want to keep him?
The 49ers think of themselves as Super Bowl contenders despite missing the playoffs in 2020, and retaining Williams would go a long way toward keeping them in contention.
Re-signing Williams would provide a boost to the 49ers’ ground attack and passing game. The latter can use all the help it can get given Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury history (23 missed starts over the past three seasons.
The Colts and Jaguars have been connected to Williams for the reasons already stated, but the veteran offensive tackle said in January that the 49ers remain his “No. 1 destination.”