Sakamoto: Ian Williams Strikes Gold With 49ers On 5-Year Deal

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

Back in December, I made it a point to write an article on then soon-to-be unrestricted free-agent NT Ian Williams as to why the team needs to keep his services. Fast forward to the first day of free-agency today and that finally came to fruition, as the San Francisco 49ers have inked their defensive team captain to a five-year deal worth between $5 to $6 million per season.

Originally an undrafted rookie free-agent from Notre Dame in 2012, Williams had to work his way up the ladder, as he fought his way into the 49ers rotation. However, through hard work, dedication, and perseverance, Williams has quickly become one of the best nose guards in the NFL while solidifying his position.

But don’t take my word for it, as former DC Eric Mangini gave high praise for his starting nose tackle saying, “Ian has the advantage of being very explosive off the line of scrimmage. He plays with a low center of gravity and he’s a very good technician. So with that type of leverage that type of explosion, even when guys that are bigger than you, you can get underneath their pads,” Mangini said.

Williams will now be joined by good friend, DE Quinton Dial, who also inked a long-term deal earlier this off-season which spells disaster for the rest of the NFL.

In 16 games last season, Williams recorded 65 tackles and 1.0 sack despite being double-teamed on the majority of the snaps. A true two-gap anchor at the point of attack, Williams can now turn his focus on football as Dial, Williams and last year’s first-round pick (No. 17) DE Arik Armstead will be the 2016 starters in DC Jim O’Neil’s 3-4 defense. (so scratch DE DeForest Buckner from coming to the 49ers at No.7 if he’s available)

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.