Seeing the Bears pop up as a possible landing spot for free agent left tackle Trent Williams was equal parts eye-opening and exciting. Both for what it could mean to the offensive line, directly, and also what that sort of pursuit might imply about the type of QB the Bears could be targeting. And none of that is to say how unlikely a big (expensive) left tackle splash felt given the Bears salary cap crunch and needs elsewhere.
But for as much as I did (and still do) want them to shoot for the moon (Williams) if they believe he’s the right sort of upgrade for this team at this time, he’s looking for quite a lengthy deal:
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 16, 2021
Barrows cites Williams’ recent appearance on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, in which the left tackle said: “I feel like I can play at a high level well into my 30s, maybe 40s.” If Williams, who will play thee 2021 campaign in his age 33 season, believes he has at least six good seasons left in the tank, then I think that tells us about the length of the contract he desires in free agency. And if you’re a team like the Bears, this should be taken into consideration.
With GM Ryan Pace in a lame-duck year and entering a win-or-else season, I doubt what happens in the back-half of a long-term contract signed in 2021 will matter to him. It certainly won’t be of much concern if Pace is working elsewhere next season. Even still … seven years for a soon-to-be 33-year-old left tackle? That’s absolutely wild. But fortune favors the bold. And that type of contract would certainly fit the bill.
Barrows drops #49ers, #Bears, #Chiefs, #Colts, and #Bengals hashtags in the tweet embedded above, essentially signifying Williams’ market. Paying a top left tackle figures to command $20 million in salary. And to satisfy Williams’ request, we could be discussing a deal worth as much as $140-$150 million. To put it differently, we’re looking at something that could surpass Ronnie Stanley’s $98.75 million in total value and $70.866 million in guarantees. Those are huge numbers. But is there such a thing as too high of a price when we’re offering up a franchise left tackle who could be a job-saver?
I suppose that’s for Pace to find out. And, again, I suppose that depends on which quarterback you’re hiring him to protect.