K’Waun Williams was courted by the New York Jets in free agency, and even went to Kansas City for a visit with the Chiefs. But the 49ers had something the other teams couldn’t offer.
While the NFL's reduced salary cap didn't impact players worthy of mega contracts, the mid-range players were hit the hardest. The 49ers benefitted from that scenario and were able to re-sign Williams to a one-year $2.377 million deal that has the underrated cornerback ecstatic to re-join his teammates.
Jason Verrett, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt all took a play out of George Kittle’s book by openly recruiting Williams on social media. With no teams blowing him away, the choice was easy for the New Jersey native.
“All the deals were pretty similar at the time, so I chose the Niners,” Williams said Tuesday. “I couldn’t deny playing with some of my teammates on our secondary, you got Jimmie, Quaski, Jason, all those guys.
“Man, just being able to play one more year with those guys was too intriguing.”
The 49ers may have finished the 2020 season with a disappointing 6-10 record but the defense held its own. Williams and his counterparts ranked in the top 10 of several defensive metrics throughout the course of the season.
Williams also was drawn back to Santa Clara by what he saw shaping up on the offensive side of the ball with the 49ers re-signing left tackle Trent Williams and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The defensive back has been impressed by what he has seen from John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan throughout his four seasons with the club.
“Just seeing what Kyle and John have been able to build over these past couple months over free agency is phenomenal,” Williams said. “Everything is coming together. Just to be able to be a part of the defense and communicate with the guys that I’ve been playing with the last four years should be amazing.”
The 49ers ultimately got “the band back together” by re-signing a significant number of their 2021 free agent players. The chemistry they have on the field and the bond they have in the locker room was too much for Williams to resist.
“Those guys are everything, it was vital to the process,” Williams said. “Ultimately they wanted me to make a decision that was best for me, but deep down inside they wanted me to come back to the Niners and do one more year with them.
“So I was excited to be able to come back and to go for the dream this year."