If Trent Williams is fully healthy and plays up to his ability, the 49ers got an absolute steal in only giving up a 2020 fifth-round pick and 2021 third-round selection in last month's trade with Washington. Had he played last season, it's highly unlikely San Francisco would have been able to acquire him for such a low cost.
And, thanks to Washington jumping the gun, he didn't.
Williams joined NFL Media's Ian Rapoport on the "RapSheet and Friends" podcast set to debut Friday and revealed that he was, in fact, prepared to suit up for Washington once he reported to the team after the trade deadline last season. But before his new helmet could arrive, Washington placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list, officially ending his season.
"The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year," Williams told Rapoport. "I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field. I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best, they know how competitive I am.
"... I was under the impression my new helmet was coming in that Tuesday, and then I was put on the NFI ... right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there. It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out."
From NFL Now: New #49ers LT Trent Williams told me on RapSheet + Friends that he's agreed to a tweaked final year of his contract, pending physical. My understanding is it gives him some upfront money (a nice thing, since he earned zero last year). pic.twitter.com/fAf28yGm15— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 28, 2020
It should be noted, Washington saved $6 million by placing Williams on the NFI. Of course, that likely was the final nail in the coffin for their relationship.
Williams doesn't sound too upset about it. You can be sure the 49ers -- who now have arguably the NFL's best offensive tackle -- aren't either.
[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
How 49ers' Trent Williams trade benefited from Washington jumping gun originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area