LA Rams rival LT Trent Williams won’t retire, but perhaps he should?
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams fans know the challenges of roster uncertainty. It seems as though the team has been challenged each year to get a handle on which player who was a solid contributor in the previous season will be back the next season. Leading up to the Super Bowl, the Rams were suddenly faced with the early retirement of All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. This year, the retirement fog descended over head coach Sean McVay.
Perhaps it’s the old adage of “Misery loves company,” but the latest NFL rumors reported over the fact that San Francisco 49ers veteran left tackle Trent Williams not ruling out retirement is a bit satisfying, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s nice to see an NFL team not named the LA Rams have to deal with this sort of roster ambiguity:
It appears that the 49ers will face their own struggles in the offseason. As a fan of the LA Rams, I’m all for it.
While you can never rule out the 49ers from contention, there is certainly plenty of room to question how they find the path to the NFL Playoffs in 2023. You can start by pointing to their quarterback situation:
49ers roster is in transition
Veteran QB Jimmy Garappolo is set to become a free agent, and their head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he doesn’t see any scenario where he will be back.
But we heard that in 2022 as well, didn’t we?
What the 49ers face in 2023 is a young untested quarterback in Trey Lance trying to compete after two seasons in the NFL and a second ankle surgery. Meanwhile, the 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who showed a remarkable mastery of the 49ers offense, injured his elbow UCL and will face a significant recovery time, at least six months:
Per 49ers beat reporter Matt Maiocco, the 49ers’ locker room is fully behind Brock Purdy, which creates a QB controversy for the team this far out. With major questions over the health of either 49ers’ starting quarterback option, you have to believe that the front office will be looking for a veteran quarterback insurance just in case the recovery of either player is delayed.
That’s a tough spot to be for a veteran offensive tackle, and 49ers’ Trent Williams certainly has paid his due enough not to participate in another rebuild. But he now says that he will be back:
My thoughts are, why?
The truth is that his salary cap footprint skyrockets from the $8-9 million range in 2021 and 2022, to a new $27+ million in 2023. Is he worth it? Of course. But are the 49ers a contender in 2023 is the real question here. With uncertainty at the quarterback position, 25 projected free agents, and a new defensive coordinator coming aboard, is that money that will carry the team into the future?
Right now, the 49ers’ right tackle, Mike McGlinchey, is set to be hotly pursued in the NFL Free Agency market this season. With his anticipated departure headlining a trio of expected free-agent losses along the offensive line, does it make sense for the 49ers to pay Williams to play for what is essentially an offensive line that will be reconfigured for 2023?
Time will tell. But I can be glad that I’m glad that the LA Rams are not caught in this one.