49ers: Complete grade and analysis of the 2020 offseason

49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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49ers (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

3. The Big Acquisition

  • 49ers Acquire: Trent Williams
  • Washington Acquires: 156th overall pick (Keith Ismael), 2021 SF 3rd round pick

49ers Grade: A

This offseason’s challenges for San Francisco was keeping as many of their players on the roster as possible. The opportunity to add a legitimate Pro Bowl or All-Pro caliber player seemed out of the question. It took a combination of strong gamesmanship from the 49ers brass and a bit of luck

A series of failures in Washington, culminating when the team’s medical staff refused to remove a cancerous growth, broke Williams’ trust in the organization. He refused to play all of last season and with a new regime in charge, the team finally relented in his request for a trade.

Unbeknownst to fans, San Francisco knew they needed a new blindside blocker.

Last season’s left tackle, future Hall-of-Famer, Joe Staley informed the team the Monday before the draft that he had decided to retire.

By keeping the news under wraps (and a little bit of lying to the media) most people didn’t view the 49ers as a likely landing spot for Williams or the top tackle prospects in the draft.

By trading out of 13 to ensure the Bucs drafted Wirfs and likely passing a message along to Williams’ or his agent, which prevented a deal to Minnesota, left Washington no other options.

A third-round pick is a decent pick, but just look at the Laremy Tunsil trade last year to tell you what fair market value for a player of Williams’ caliber could be.

Williams easily should have netted Washington a first-round pick this year if Bruce Allen hadn’t entirely messed up the entire ordeal. The fact that San Francisco added him for just a fifth this season and a presumably low third is a steal.

Are there risks? Of course. Whenever a player hasn’t stepped on the field for an extended period of time (especially when they’re in their 30s), it’s reason for concern.

But, Staley was gone. There wasn’t a free-agent tackle close to Williams’ caliber and even if the 49ers could have taken any of the very good prospects in this year’s draft, there are plenty of risks with a rookie as well.

Over the past decade, Williams is the only player who could make an argument to be better than Staley. It doesn’t make the 2020 team better than 2019, but you can’t get caught chasing ghosts of the team’s past.

The team was going to have a question at left tackle. There was no better value than Williams.