Following a heartbreaking Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Kyle Shanahan and co. are not resting on their laurels. After being aggressive in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, San Francisco has traded a 2020 5th round draft pick and a 2021 3rd round draft pick to the Washington Redskins for perennial all-pro Trent Williams.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Shanahan is a huge advocate of the belief that in the NFL, no team can stay the same – you’re either getting better or worse.
Following the trade, Trent Williams told NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport: ‘I’m thankful this is over. Thanks to Dan and the organization for all they’ve done for me. Still a lot of love for the fans and that locker room. Now I’m focusing on being the best player I can possibly be for the 49ers.’
With the #49ers trade done, LT Trent Williams tells me, "I’m thankful this is over. Thanks to Dan and the organization for all they’ve done for me. Still a lot of love for the fans and that locker room. Now I’m focusing on being the best player I can possibly be for the 49ers."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2020
This trade comes at a great cost for the Niners. After previously being worth a mid-to-late first-round pick last year, the Redskins’ decision not to move Williams at the trade deadline ended up tanking the tackle’s value. 49ers GM John Lynch has shown in the past he is not averse to trading away 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks to proven, premier talent. For the Niners, this deal was a no-brainer.
With the acquisition of Williams, it would appear that 49er legend Joe Staley will be retiring this off-season. Staley is a modern-day 49er great and incredibly loved by 49er fans everywhere. Although this is a suitable time for the 35-year-old tackle to bow out, one can’t help look back in sadness at Staley not retiring with a championship ring. With that in mind, Staley is a sure-fire inclusion into the San Francisco 49er Ring of Honour and has an outside chance at Canton.
From a league perspective, the 49ers acquiring Williams just amplifies the nuclear arms race that is occurring at the top of the NFL. Williams will be a dominant force in the already punishing 49er run game, as well as doing the ever so valuable job of protecting Jimmy Garoppolo‘s blindside.
It seems that this 49ers front office can do no wrong and with every move they make, they make a stronger argument for the best front office in the league, a stark contrast to the Redskins FO which is one of the most toxic and poisonous in the league – a borderline pariah.
This move cements the 49ers as the favourite in the NFC West and the favourite to come out of the NFC again. In the NFL, you’re either getting worse or getting better. No team ever stays the same. And the Super Bowl runner-ups just got better.