After left tackle Trent Williams re-signed with the 49ers last week, the headline was that he agreed to a six-year deal but the details told a somewhat different story.
Williams is set to make over $60 million in the first three years, but the 49ers hold an option on the final three years and $77 million-plus of the deal. Williams will be 35 after the first three years of the deal are up, which makes for a strong possibility that injuries and/or the march of time will keep him from playing out the entire deal.
On Tuesday, Williams said the length of the contract and the fact that it’s backloaded create “an incentive for me not to get complacent.” He also said that he thinks he has a real chance to play beyond the end of the pact.
“I think just going off of that and knowing the medicine now and the way the NFL takes care of their players now, I think yeah, I think playing until 40 is well within reach,” Williams said, via 49ersWebzone.com. “The way I feel right now, I do think I have six years in my body. But I’m not going to be unrealistic. I’m going to take it one day at a time and continue to plug away at it. But that is the goal. I have something to prove. Can I play at a high level until I’m 40? We’ll see.”
While the contract provides Williams with plenty of incentive to remain on top of his game, there are too many variables at play to focus on what things will look like years from now. The 49ers paid Williams to be one of their best players in 2021 and checking that box will make the decision to stay together look like a winning one for both sides.