Trent Williams (71) of the San Francisco 49ers smiles during warm-ups before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 27, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The 49ers have reportedly agreed to terms with Williams, who will sign a six-year contract worth up $138.06 million. (Elsa/Getty Images/TNS)

Trent Williams (71) of the San Francisco 49ers smiles during warm-ups before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 27, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The 49ers have reportedly agreed to terms with Williams, who will sign a six-year contract worth up $138.06 million. (Elsa/Getty Images/TNS)

49ers to sign Trent Williams to record six-year contract, bring in Alex Mack

Chris Biderman

The Sacramento Bee

The 49ers early Wednesday morning made big news along the offensive line making a pair of notable signings.

First, they agreed to terms on a record-setting contract with free agent Trent Williams, who will sign a six-year deal worth up $138.06 million, making him far and away the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. His agency announced the news at 3:40 a.m. on the West Coast.

San Francisco wasn’t done. The 49ers addressed their glaring need at center by agreeing to terms with Atlanta Falcons free agent Alex Mack, according to a report from NFL Network. The Cal alum was named to the All-Decade team for the 2010s and has appeared in six Pro Bowls.

The 35-year-old reunites with Kyle Shanahan, with whom he played for previously in Cleveland and Atlanta in 2014 and 2016. Shanahan helped bring Mack from Cleveland to Atlanta in free agency and he helped the team reach the Super Bowl.

It all but confirms incumbent center Weston Richburg is likely done with the 49ers. Richburg recently had hip surgery, his third procedure since he last played in Dec. 2019 when he tore the patellar tendon in his knee.

It was believed the Kansas City Chiefs were making a strong push to sign Williams after releasing their two starting tackles over the last week. The belief is the 49ers had to increase their offer to account for California’s more burdensome 13% income tax against Missouri’s 5.4%. The Chicago Bears were also reportedly in the mix after agreeing to sign Andy Dalton to a $10 million deal to compete for the starting quarterback job.

Williams’ contract, if fully realized, far surpasses the other contracts for the league’s top tackles. Ravens star Ronnie Stanley signed a four-year, $97.75 million contract in October, while the Packers gave David Bakhtiari a four-year, $92 million deal in November. Those deals average $19.75 million and $23 million per year, respectively. Williams’ deal averages $23.01 million per season.

The 49ers had been working to get Williams re-signed for months leading into the start of free agency, but the eight-time Pro Bowler was steadfast in wanting to see his value on the open market. After all, elite left tackles in their primes rarely hit unrestricted free agency and the two sides agreed to a clause in his contract last offseason that prevented San Francisco from giving Williams the franchise tag this spring, which would have kept him under contract for $13.8 million fully guaranteed.

Yet even dating back to last season, Williams said returning to the 49ers was his No. 1 choice. He built a strong relationship with Shanahan and O-line coach Chris Foerster dating back to his time with Washington. Shanahan was the offensive coordinator when Washington made him the fourth overall pick in 2010.

“It’s been 11 years in this league and I have yet to see a franchise left tackle go to the open market,” Williams said in January. “I think it would be interesting to kind of see what value holds. But regardless, like I said, and I’ve always maintained the same thing, I think San Francisco is my No. 1 destination, and we’ll see how things work out.”

The 49ers on Sunday agreed to terms with fullback Kyle Juszczyk on a new five-year deal before landing agreements with cornerback Jason Verrett and Rams pass rusher Samson Ebukam during the first day of the negotiating period on Monday. The first year of those pacts gave San Francisco cap hits of $2.275 million, $5.312 million and $3.75 million for 2021, respectively, according to

That left the 49ers with roughly $20 million in cap space before the restructure of Dee Ford’s contract down to two years and $24 million, indicating the team won’t be getting rid of Ford this offseason after all. The restructure points to Ford not being able to pass a physical this spring and forcing the 49ers to hold on to him.

There was also movement on the slow-developing market for slot cornerbacks, which is notable if San Francisco wants to retain K’Waun Williams. Former Steelers defensive back Mike Hilton landed a four-year, $24 million deal with Cincinnati that includes $8.5 million in the first year.

Williams is could command something similar which could be in range for the 49ers depending on the structure of Williams’ deal.

— Possible backup quarterback options were taken off the market early this week, including a quick run Tuesday afternoon in the span of about an hour. It started Monday when journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with the Washington Football Team and sits on the top of their depth chart, for now.

Tuesday, former Bengals starter and Cowboys backup Andy Dalton reached a one-year, $10 million agreement with the Chicago Bears where he’ll have a chance to compete for a starting role, according to an ESPN report.

Tyrod Taylor, the former Bills and Chargers starter, signed for up to $12.5 million for one season with the Houston Texans, who are continuing to deal with the turmoil surrounding star quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Finally, the Miami Dolphins inked former Patriots and Colts signal caller Jacoby Brissett to a one-year deal, ESPN reported.

Shanahan and Lynch have reiterated they would be in the market for possible upgrades behind Jimmy Garoppolo, and multiple reports linked San Francisco to Dalton. But $10 million seems like a steep price given the team’s expensive roster.

Bay Area NewsfootballNFLsan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

From left, California state Sen. Milton Marks, Sen. Nicholas Petris, Assemblyman John Knox and activists Claire Dedrick, Sylvia McLaughlin and Janet Adams watch Gov. Ronald Reagan sign the bill establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent agency in 1969. (Courtesy Save The Bay)
Sixty years of Saving San Francisco Bay

Pioneering environmental group was started by three ladies on a mission

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101, including Park Presidio Boulevard, to keep traffic flowing as The City reopens. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Tents filled up a safe camping site in a former parking lot at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin in June 2020.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Proposal for major expansion of safe sleeping sites gets cool reception in committee

Supervisor Mandelman calls for creation of more temporary shelter sites to get homeless off streets

A surplus of	mice on the Farallon Islands have caused banded burrowing owls to stay year round instead of migrating, longtime researchers say. <ins>(Courtesy Point Blue Conservation Science)</ins>
Farallon Islands researchers recommend eradicating mice

The Farallon Islands comprise three groups of small islands located nearly 30… Continue reading

Once we can come and go more freely, will people gather the way they did before COVID? <ins>(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>
What happens when the pandemic is over?

After experiencing initial excitement, I wonder just how much I’ll go out

Most Read