The 49ers knew left tackle Joe Staley was retiring before the draft started on Thursday night and they knew there was a possibility that they could land Trent Williams in a trade with Washington, but they hadn’t sealed a deal when they went on the clock with the 13th overall pick.
Former Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs was available, but the 49ers opted to trade down one spot with the Buccaneers and Tampa took Wirfs to add to their offensive line. On Saturday, 49ers General Manager John Lynch said the team liked Wirfs but letting him go was “a risk we were willing to take” as they pursued Williams.
They landed Williams on Saturday for a fifth-round pick and 2021 third-rounder and reports were that a new contract wouldn’t be part of the package. Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that was the way Williams wants to play things.
“Trent has been out of football for a year and a half, and Trent made it clear to everyone he wants to come back and didn’t want to do a deal right away,” Shanahan said, via ESPN.com. “He wanted to play and try to get back into it and see where he was at with the rest of the league and pick up where he left off. That’s one of the reasons we were able to get him and get him for what we did. I think it really helped us in the situation we were in.”
Williams is set to make $12.5 million with the same cap number during the 2020 season.