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Cowherd believes Trent Williams’ mega-contract means the 49ers will draft a rookie QB

Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have executed their free-agency plans about as well as they could have hoped for during the first couple of days. Trent Williams is the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Alex Mack is the starting center. The Niners also added four starters who will count roughly $13 million against the 2021 cap.

After Williams's mega-contract, some suggest that the 49ers are looking to get cheaper at other positions — namely, quarterback.

Colin makes a few solid points. One, how easy it is to manipulate the salary cap. You can add dummy years, offer more guaranteed money, among dozens of other ways to get around the cap. You’ll pay for it eventually, but there are ways around the $182.5 million salary cap.

George Kittle just got paid. Fred Warner is on the verge of becoming the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history. Nick Bosa won’t be cheap, and that’s before we get to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. One way around that is a rookie QB. The contract for a rookie quarterback would allow San Francisco to retain their home-grown talent.

Sam Darnold only makes the 49ers cheaper for one season. Next year, there’s no telling if the Niners would be in a position to draft a franchise quarterback. If you’re holding out hope for Aaron Rodgers becoming available, he’ll cost at least $35 million. All signs point to a rookie quarterback. The team could control his cost for at least two years before we get into potential extension talks.

Do you think Cowherd is grasping at straws here or that there’s validity to what he’s saying?