The 49ers pulled off a blockbuster trade Saturday morning to acquire seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams from Washington for two draft picks.
The move strongly suggests NFL All-Decade left tackle Joe Staley, one of the most popular players in franchise history, has played his final game with the organization. Staley has been a fixture for the 49ers at left tackle since 2008.
The 49ers send Washington their fifth-round pick (No. 156) this year and a third-round pick in 2021. NFL Media and ESPN first reported details of the completed trade. League sources independently confirmed the deal to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan.
Williams. 31, has played every game at left tackle since entering the NFL in 2010 as Washington's No. 4 overall pick. He played his first four NFL seasons with Mike Shanahan as coach and Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator. He will return to Shanahan's scheme with one year remaining on his contract.
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The veteran did not play last season and his agent again requested a trade or release in March.
Williams made it known last summer that he wanted to be traded amid an acrimonious relationship with then-team president Bruce Allen, the medical staff and the organization. He described a botched medical diagnosis of a cancerous tumor (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans) on his head after which he lost trust in the organization.
Williams held out through training camp and the early part of the season. He reported to the team in October after he remained with Washington through the trade deadline. He was later placed on the non-football injury list and never stepped on the field.
The tackle is scheduled to enter the final year of his contract, which is set to pay him $12.5 million in base salary with an additional $250,000 available in per-game roster bonuses.
Williams played in 120 games with 119 starts during the nine seasons in Washington. He has not played all 16 regular-season games in a season since 2013.
He steps in as the replacement for Staley, whose status has been in question throughout this offseason. General manager John Lynch earlier this week downplayed speculation about Staley's future.
“We’ve heard nothing that would lead us to believe that Joe is not going to play," Lynch said.
Staley, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, has played 13 seasons after the 49ers selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft. But he was sidelined for nine regular-season games due to fractures of his lower leg and finger. He required surgery to repair his finger.
Because of Staley's uncertain future, offensive tackle was considered one of the 49ers' top needs entering the draft. The 49ers spent first-round draft picks Thursday on South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
San Francisco ended Day 1 of the draft with only picks remaining in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. The 49ers now won't pick until No. 156 overall on Saturday, 135 selections after draft picking Aiyuk.