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Wednesday's NFL free agency roundup: 49ers give Trent Williams record deal; weapon to WFT

Nate Davis, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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The NFL's 2021 free agency market – finally – officially opened at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Players with expiring contracts or those who have been traded, like Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz, can officially join their new teams.

The NFL's salary cap for the upcoming season has a max value of $182.5 million – all teams must be under the cap by Wednesday afternoon, when the new league year begins. Several still had salaries that needed to be slashed as of Wednesday morning.

Here are the major moves that have already occurred as the curtain goes up on football's new year – quite a few significant deals already agreed upon:

MORE MOVES: Monday | Tuesday

Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams (71) seems likely to finish his career with the 49ers.
Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams (71) seems likely to finish his career with the 49ers.

49ers get Williams back ... but that's not all

Left tackle Trent Williams, arguably the premier free agent available in 2021, is re-signing with the San Francisco 49ers. Per reports, the eight-time Pro Bowler will receive a six-year, $138 million contract ($55 million guaranteed) that makes him the highest-paid O-lineman in NFL history, barely eclipsing the Packers' David Bakhtiari.

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In addition, the Niners have essentially reached a deal with six-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, 35, who was part of Kyle Shanahan's offense in Atlanta when the Falcons reached Super Bowl 51. They were also together in Cleveland after the Browns made Mack a first-round pick out of Cal in 2009 ... so this move also represents a homecoming of sorts.

Washington adds weapon

The Washington Football Team added a play maker for new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, agreeing to a deal with receiver Curtis Samuel. Per ESPN, Samuel will pull in $34.5 million over the next three years. The former second-round pick had a career-high 1,051 yards from scrimmage for the Panthers in 2020, when he caught 77 passes and ran the ball 41 times.

Another Buc comes back

The Super Bowl champion Buccaneers continue to recruit their 2020 band for another run. The latest free agent to re-sign is kicker Ryan Succop, who agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal. He converted 28 of 31 field goals in 2020 and 52 of 57 extra-point tries.

Panthers add LBs

A year removed from Luke Kuechly's surprise retirement, the Carolina Panthers are revamping their linebacker corps. Per reports Wednesday, they've reached agreements with Denzel Perryman, formerly of the Chargers, and Haason Reddick, who had a breakout 2020 campaign for the Cardinals. Playing predominantly off the edge for the first time, Reddick racked up 12½ sacks after posting 7½ over his first three seasons. A second-round pick in 2015, injuries have limited Perryman.

Cardinals trade for center

Arizona acquired center Rodney Hudson and a seventh-round pick from the Raiders for a third-round pick, shoring up the O-line in front of Kyler Murray with a three-time Pro Bowler. Las Vegas had telegraphed a release of Hudson on Tuesday, but found a deal instead as the new league year opened.

A.J. Green leaving Cincinnati

Longtime Bengals wideout A.J. Green, who ranks second to Chad Johnson in the team's major receiving categories, is leaving the Queen City after 10 seasons. Green will join DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray in Arizona for the 2021 season, per NFL Network. Green, who missed the 2019 season with an ankle injury, is coming off his least productive NFL campaign (47 catches for 523 yards and two TDs).

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Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL free agency updates: 49ers' Trent Williams gets record deal