Niners star LT Trent Williams not ruling out retirement after another ‘grueling’ season
San Francisco star left tackle Trent Williams sported crutches and a walking boot as the 49ers cleaned out their lockers on Tuesday following Sunday’s NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Williams called the injury to his left foot “minor” but noted the “grueling” look of another long season, his 12th in the NFL. Like most 34-year-olds, Williams said retirement is still a consideration at this point, but refrained from making a proclamation one way or another.
“It’s a long season, with two long seasons in a row, it’s getting pretty grueling for a 34-year-old guy like me,” Williams said Tuesday, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “You kind of think about what life is like after football, because I’ve done that every year of my life since second year. You get to that age, especially after you end the year like that and it’s as exhausting as it was and I still can’t get where you want to be. I get it, you’re getting to that age. Honestly, I’m just taking it one day at a time and we’ll see how it goes.”
While it doesn’t look like retirement is coming this season, it would be a blow to the Niners if the All-Pro left tackle walks away. San Francisco is already eyeing the prospect of losing right tackle Mike McGlinchey in free agency.
Despite his age, Williams remains among the elite of the NFL’s best tacklers. His athleticism and reach allow him to smother rushers and steamroller defenders in the ground game. Williams’ unique ability helps the Niners’ entire offense flow more smoothly. A few more seasons at the All-Pro level, and Williams will be geared up for a gold jacket.
The question every offseason from now on will be whether the daily routine of the season wears him down enough to consider stepping away.
“I would be lying if I said it’s not,” Williams said of the grueling race. “Yeah, it is. It’s not hard to stand up for the NFC Championship [Game], or playoffs or something like that. But, yes, the daily routine becomes quite redundant [after] do it for a long time.
“But I’m blessed. I’m blessed to have played this game for as long as I have. And whatever God has in the future for me, I know I will have. But to answer your question, yes, it becomes a bit like a replay almost.”
The 49ers hope the recovery with Williams lasts at least two more seasons.