With Washington, Trent Williams was a decorated Pro Bowler — making the annual game seven straight years.
But as talented as the left tackle was, the Burgundy and Gold rarely had the supporting casts to capitalize on Williams‘ individual success. Williams made the playoffs just twice in nine seasons with Washington, losing in the first game each time.
In San Francisco, however, Williams can enjoy individual and team success.
The 33-year-old earned the first postseason victory of his career Sunday when the 49ers picked up a 23-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The win comes days after Williams was named first-team All-Pro — also the first honor of his career — and months after he signed a six-year, $138 million contract to stay with the 49ers.
“I feel better than any accolade anybody could give me,” Williams told reporters after the 49ers’ victory. “This is the best feeling in the world. It’s obviously short-lived. It’s a tournament, so we’ve got another big game next week. But it’s the best feeling.”
It was arguably the type of feeling that Williams wanted when he demanded his way out of Washington. After requesting a trade in 2019 — a request that resulted in the left tackle missing the whole season as a result — Williams was shipped to the 49ers in April 2020 for multiple draft picks. While San Francisco missed the playoffs last season, the 49ers improved to 10-7 and upset the Cowboys in the Wild Card round.
Washington, meanwhile, struggled to fill Williams‘ vacancy in 2020 — using a combination of Geron Christian, Cornelius Lucas and right tackle Morgan Moses over the course of the year. But the team found stability at the position a year later — adding veteran Charles Leno on a one-year, $4 million deal in May. Leno played well enough to earn a three-year, $37.5 million contract, which was signed just before the end of the season.
The 49ers move on to face the Green Bay Packers next weekend.