While most news surrounding the San Francisco 49ers these days revolves around whether the team is going to trade quarterback Colin Kaepernick to the Denver Broncos or Cleveland Browns, other stories continue to develop. On Monday, it was announced that the team and defensive tackle Ian Williams had agreed to terms on a restructured version of his new contract. The two sides initially agreed upon a five year contract during week one of free agency, but after it was discovered that Williams may be in jeopardy of missing the beginning of the 2016 season due to ankle surgery, the two sides restructured the deal into a one year agreement. With the change, the deal switches from $27.5 million to $6 million.
Having joined the 49ers after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Williams has spent the majority of his career as a backup. In 2015 however, he started all sixteen games, racking up a career high 65 tackles and one sack. With his new deal reduced to one year, Ian will need to prove that 2015 wasn’t a mirage and that he is worth every penny that the team had planned to give him initially. Furthermore, Williams will be one of the players that will be counted on to improve a defensive unit that was ranked near the bottom in every category.
If that wasn’t enough, the defense will also have to figure out how to coexist with a Chip Kelly led offense. For now though, the team is excited about keeping one of their own.