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Ross Tucker believes the 49ers shouldn’t pay Trent Williams $20 million annually

Tucker references the salary cap and how other teams have regretted giving their left tackle a lot of money.

Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Former NFL Player and host of his own podcast, Ross Tucker, joined SB Nation’s NFL Show Tuesday and discussed why the San Francisco 49ers shouldn’t pay Trent Williams $20 million a year.

Rob Guerrera asked Tucker if he felt like Williams was worthy of a $20 million price tag:

This is where it gets tough for me. Especially with the cap being down this year. The last I heard from Peter King is $183 million. That just seems like a lot for a tackle. I know that’s the going rate. That’s what Laremy Tunsil got from the Texans because Bill O’Brien doesn’t know what he’s doing. Then David Bahktari was able to beat that.

So I’m guessing...someone...will pay Trent Williams that amount of money. I question whether that someone should be the San Francisco 49ers. I say that for a couple of different reasons. Number one is that they’ve been able to get by without a left tackle like Trent. The offense, with the outside zone stuff, bootlegs, and play-action, it’s not like you’re asking the left tackle to do 40 1-on-1 dropbacks per game.

Also, he had some bad moments last year. He was a big reason why they lost that Eagles game. They made a bunch of plays against Trent Williams last game. I remember a game where they lost in large part because of Trent Williams. Not that I sat here and watched every Trent Williams game. He’s a very good player and I know he’s got good grades from people, but it’s a primetime game and I watched every snap. It’s hard not to get that out of my head.

Part of what you’re paying for with Kyle Shanahan is the ability to be productive without having to pay a left tackle over $20 million a year if that makes sense.

TL/DR: Ross Tucker did not watch Trent Williams outside of one game.

I chart the 49ers' games to get an idea of how each player performs. That way, we can avoid these types of discussions. The “process” generally gets lost after the games are played on Sunday in favor of the “result.” If I have a question, whether it’s about Mike McGlinchey or Richard Sherman, these guys are amazingly helpful when it comes to explaining what happened. Even better, they’re open, honest, and will say if they made a mistake or not.

Against the Eagles, Williams played 66 snaps. I charted him for seven missed blocks, four of those coming against the run, one versus the pass, and one on a screen pass. Williams allowed a sack and also had two penalties. Williams did not play to his standards.

The issue with offensive line play is that we never credit them for positive blocks. I use “plus blocks” and credit a player whenever he generates significant movement or executes a specific technique at a high level. Every game, Williams would have a few “plus blocks” while no other offensive lineman on the Niners would have more than one. Against Philly, Williams had four “plus” blocks.

We watched Williams in every game. Was he one of the top three left tackles in the NFL during 2020? Probably not. It’s unfair to expect Williams to perform as one of the best tackles in the NFL after missing an entire season after having a cancerous growth removed from his head.

Williams was in the top five to seven range, and most of that was due to his early-season rust. Williams had a four-game stretch last year where he didn’t miss a block. Seriously. During the second half of the season, Williams played like the All-Pro talent that he is. Now that the rust is gone, it’d be foolish to think you could get better production than Williams. He’s a game-changer and worthy of $20 million a year.

You can listen to the entire conversation below: