While all the attention was on newly-acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the San Francisco 49ers made another move on Monday to help shore up their depth chart heading into 2013.
The 49ers have signed nose tackle Ian Williams to a new, two-year deal that will keep him with the team through 2015. The deal is reportedly worth $3.2 million and includes a $1 million signing bonus.
An undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame in 2011, Williams has made an insignificant impact for the 49ers since joining the team. Through his two seasons in San Francisco, he has seen the field in four games, racking up three total tackles.
A big part of why Williams went undrafted out of college was due to his raw abilities as both a pass-rusher and technician. After two years of work as a project along the 49ers defensive line, San Francisco is ready to give him the opportunity he’s been waiting for.
Especially with the impending departure of starting nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, the 49ers are going to need help at the position in 2013. The only other nose tackle besides Williams currently on the roster is Lamar Givens, who hasn’t played a regular season game since 2010. The likely loss of defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois to free agency could have also played a part in Williams’ extension.
Williams hasn’t exactly proven himself out on the field, but the 49ers appear confident that he can contribute moving forward. He showed some promise coming out of college as a run-stuffer, and seems to have developed enough of a pass-rush to warrant a longer look.
Either way, Williams’ role will be bigger in 2013. We’ll see if he’s ready to rise to the occasion.