Williams recalls 49ers' failed trade attempt for him in 2019


Since being traded to the 49ers during the 2020 offseason by the now-Washington Commanders, Trent Williams has established himself as the NFL's premier left tackle.

But it turns out it took a couple of tries for San Francisco to strike a deal with Washington for Williams, the All-Pro recently revealed.

Williams shared with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show" that although he wanted to be traded to the 49ers in 2019, coach Kyle Shanahan's estranged relationship with Washington owner Dan Snyder made things difficult.

"[Snyder] told me and my agent, 'Are you serious?' " Williams told Kawakami. "I think the 49ers had the best offer on the table at the time, I don't want to say what it was ... They had a high draft pick [and] a pretty good player on the board.

"[Washington] pretty much laughed at us, like, 'You think we're going to send you to Kyle out of all people?' And [the 49ers were] undefeated, and it just so happened they were playing the Redskins, or Commanders, that week."

Needless to say, the 49ers' initial offer for Williams was turned down.

"It was like, 'Yeah, we don't care what they're offering us at this point,' " Williams continued. " 'We're not going to do them a favor by sending you over there in the midst of what could be a Super Bowl season.'

"So that's why the trade didn't happen then."

But fortunately for the 49ers Faithful, Williams eventually made his way to San Francisco after the 49ers sent a 2020 fifth-round pick and 2021 third-rounder to Washington in exchange for the left tackle during the 2020 NFL Draft.

And that trade only happened thanks to some "wheeling and dealing," as Williams put it, by the trade acquisition himself.

"I had to go out and reach out on my own ... I was getting ready to go to Minnesota, the deal was pretty much locked in," Williams said.

Then, he called Shanahan.

"I'm like, 'Listen, man. I get what they were saying last year, but right now, the deal is about 80 percent done, and right now all I'm hearing is a fifth-round pick,' " Williams recalled. "So he was like, 'What?' He's like, 'Well, if that's the case, we can beat that by a mile.'"

RELATED: Williams believes 49ers have 'recipe' to reach Super Bowl LVII

And even despite the Los Angeles Rams getting in on the bidding war for Williams along with the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco ultimately emerged victorious after the lineman turned down coach Sean McVay.

"I had already had my eyes set to come [to the 49ers] and I said, 'Coach, maybe after the season or something, but for right now, I think the 49ers give me my best chance to succeed," Williams said. "Not only as a team but as an individual player."

Williams certainly has succeeded since playing for San Francisco, becoming the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL after signing a six-year contract with the team following the 2020 season.

When all was said and done, Williams' trade story became a perfect example of the age-old phrase, "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again."

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