The San Francisco 49ers have pulled off a draft-day stunner trading for superstar offensive tackle Trent Williams thus putting Joe Staley’s future in question.
Williams has been embroiled in a year-long contract dispute with the Washington Redskins that caused the superstar offensive tackle to miss all of the 2019 season.
Trade rumors have been prevalent dating back to before the trade deadline this past season, but the two sides finally came to an agreement on a trade, and the 49ers are set to benefit from it.
San Francisco is sending a 2021 third-round pick and their fifth-round pick this year to Washington in exchange for the talented offensive lineman, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Now, addressing the offensive line was expected to be a concern for the 49ers going into the draft. But few expected the team to land an offensive tackle — at least one who would start Week 1.
The immediate speculation is that this means Joe Staley won’t be back in 2020. There have been rumors about the six-time Pro Bowler possibly retiring this year and this seems to all, but confirm that.
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After all, the 49ers aren’t going to roll into 2020 with Staley, Williams, and Mike McGlinchey all on the roster. Perhaps if Staley decides he wants to return next season they could consider kicking McGlinchey inside with no clear starter at right guard.
But this move seems to signal the end of Staley’s legendary career in San Francisco.
Nonetheless, Williams is a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s zone-heavy scheme due to his athleticism and technical prowess. There will be concerns about his age (he’ll be 32-years-old in July) and the fact that he hasn’t played since 2018.
But the last time we saw Williams on the gridiron, he was playing at an elite level in the midst of a league-high seven consecutive Pro Bowl appearance streak.
A monster trade for the 49ers and it’s hard to argue with the value. Now, the attention will shift to Staley who may have an announcement to make regarding his future in the coming days.