Before the San Francisco 49ers landed offensive lineman Trent Williams, it was reported that he nearly landed elsewhere.
One rumor emerged during the NFL Draft that Williams himself rejected a trade to the Minnesota Vikings. However, Williams denied the report, but NFL Network refuted that it was true. Now, Williams has taken to social media to clear up the situation, via The Athletic’s David Lombardi.
“Trent Williams: “The Vikings’ long-term and what I was looking at long-term didn’t really sync up.” Williams says the Vikings dropped out of those trade talks, not him.”
Before the team traded for the Pro Bowl offensive tackle, there were questions that needed to be answered. The 49ers needed to find a way to pay Williams’ $14.5 million cap hit given that the 49ers had just $13 million cap space. In order to get a done deal, the 49ers needed Staley to retire, so they could save $6 million against the cap.
Trent Williams: “The Vikings’ long-term and what I was looking at long-term didn’t really sync up.” Williams says the Vikings dropped out of those trade talks, not him.
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) April 30, 2020
ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that rumor.
“Here’s what helped set into motion the Trent Williams’ trade: six-time Pro Bowl and All-Decade OT Joe Staley is expected to retire due to health concerns, per league sources. The 35-year-old Staley wanted to inform the 49ers in a timely way to help find a replacement. They have.”
— NFL (@NFL) April 25, 2020
Williams became a member of the San Francisco 49ers after John Lynch traded two draft picks, including a third-round pick for 2021 to the Redskins. The seven-time Pro Bowler did not play last season, but the team has faith he can provide an instant upgrade at offensive line.
It’s unfortunate the Vikings couldn’t take care of business, but either way, the overwhelming antagonist is the Washington Redskins for screwing this up.