Should the 49ers Extend Trent Williams' Contract?

The fact that Williams wants an extension probably means he wants to play until he's 40, which is good news for the 49ers. But his body may not allow him to play that long.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) arrives before playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) arrives before playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are desperate.

They want to keep their core together for one more year so they can make another run at the Super Bowl. And so they've been handing out contract extensions all offseason. First, they gave one to Colton McKivitz, then they gave one to Jauan Jennings and recently they gave one to Christian McCaffrey. Brandon Aiyuk may get one soon as well. And next year, Brock Purdy presumably will receive the biggest contract extension in franchise history.

Should the 49ers extend Trent Williams' contract, too?

Williams reportedly wants a new deal with the 49ers even though he'll turn 36 in July and he's signed through 2026. And he has leverage to ask for a new deal because he's the 49ers' most valuable player. They're 3-6 in the games he hasn't played since he joined the team. They have no one who can replace him. He makes their running game and their passing game function.

The fact that Williams wants an extension probably means he wants to play until he's 40, which is good news for the 49ers. But his body may not allow him to play that long.

Williams usually misses at least two games every year. He hasn't played a full season since 2013. And he's the oldest player on the team. What if he starts missing four to eight games per season? That's not out of the realm of possibilities.

Williams' contract currently has no guaranteed money left on it, which means the 49ers can cut him whenever they want if they feel he's beginning to fall apart with age. This seems like a prudent contract structure for an older player with an injury history.

The 49ers absolutely should not extend Williams' contract. It's perfectly fine the way it is.


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN

Grant Cohn has covered the San Francisco 49ers daily since 2011. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he wrote the Inside the 49ers blog and covered famous coaches and athletes such as Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. In 2012, Inside the 49ers won Sports Blog of the Year from the Peninsula Press Club. In 2020, Cohn joined FanNation and began writing All49ers. In addition, he created a YouTube channel which has become the go-to place on YouTube to consume 49ers content. Cohn's channel typically generates roughly 3.5 million viewers per month, while the 49ers' official YouTube channel generates roughly 1.5 million viewers per month. Cohn live streams almost every day and posts videos hourly during the football season. Cohn is committed to asking the questions that 49ers fans want answered, and providing the most honest and interactive coverage in the country. His loyalty is to the reader and the viewer, not the team or any player or coach. Cohn is a new-age multimedia journalist with an old-school mentality, because his father is Lowell Cohn, the legendary sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1979 to 1993. The two have a live podcast every Tuesday. Grant Cohn grew up in Oakland and studied English Literature at UCLA from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife.