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49ers rework Trent Williams’ deal, clear $4.36M in salary cap space

The 49ers have reworked Trent Williams’ massive contract, per ESPN’s Field Yates.

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

On Saturday morning, ESPN’s Field Yates reported that the 49ers had restructured tackle Trent Williams’ contract. In doing so, they’ve cleared $4.36M in salary cap space in 2022.

The 49ers always love to keep some extra spending money for in-season moves, but because they were down to $4M in 2022 cap space, I believe they felt the need to create some extra space.

Especially given that Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be starting (at least) the next 16 games and earning a lot of those Not Likely To Be Earned (NLTBE) incentives, the 49ers probably anticipated needing additional cap space in 2023 for that.

Nonetheless, the 49ers have dropped Trent Williams’ base salary down from $7.25M to $1.80M, which is the veteran minimum salary in 2022 for a player with Williams’ playing experience.

This $5.45M will now be paid out to Trent Williams immediately as a signing bonus, but it will be prorated across the life of Williams’ contract. Essentially, the $5.45M will be split across the five years of his deal to add an additional $1.09M per season to his cap hit (assuming no void years are added).

The funny part of the restructure is that it means that Jimmy Garoppolo’s cap hit in 2022 is now the highest on the 49ers’ team at $13.991 (which is still low for a starting veteran quarterback in the NFL).

With this move, the 49ers should be back up to around $9M in salary cap space in 2022, which they could use for in-season moves (signings or trades) or roll over into next season when they will need that money to account for Nick Bosa’s extension or Garoppolo’s incentives.