The details from 49ers' left tackle Trent Williams contract have emerged. Williams has a cap number for 2021 of $8.2 million. This is yet another way to manipulate the salary cap as the Niners were able to offset the deal by giving the star left tackle so much guaranteed money upfront. With Williams’s signing bonus, his cash payout is $32.4 million in 2021.
Here’s a look at what Williams’ cap number looks like for the duration of his contract:
2021 - $8.2 million
2022 - $14.1m
2023 - 26.2m
2024 - 26.9m
2026 - $33.06M
If Williams is on the roster on April 1, 2022, then $5 million of his 2023 salary is guaranteed, per Over the Cap. Williams doesn’t have any guaranteed money in his contract after the 2023 regular season. That makes 2024 an option year for San Francisco. Looking at the dead money, 2024 is the first year the team could cut Williams without losing money against the cap.
So, it’s two deals. The first deal is three years for $60.63 million, while the final three years is worth $77.31 million. I’d say the odds that the 49ers re-work Williams’s deal if he’s on the team after the 2023 season are high, based on the cap hits above.
The backloaded structure is a smart way to design the contract as it helps San Francisco present it to Williams as he’s the highest-paid offensive lineman ever without crippling the team.
Paraag Marathe and the front office had to get creative. Williams’ signing bonus of $30.1 million is prorated over five years instead of six, which bumps the bonus up a million to $6.02.
Williams is due $8.1 million in cash come 2022. That’ll be the last “cheap” year as Williams’s cash owed spikes to $20 million or more each year after.
Finally, Over the Cap said that Williams guaranteed money is $40.1 million at the time of signing and not the $55 million, which was initially reported.
Based on how Williams played, and what he means to the 49ers, this is a fair deal for everyone invovled.