After sitting out the entire 2019 season in a dispute with Washington's front office, Williams remained adamant that he wanted a trade. He received one during the draft, sending him west to San Francisco and reuniting him with Kyle Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington when the Redskins selected Williams fourth overall in 2010.
Williams says it couldn't have worked out any better.
"The reason I was drafted to Washington is the way me and this offense marry up with my skill set," he said, via the Associated Press. "That's still the same. It's a hand and glove fit. I know this offense like the back of my hand."
He'll get the remainder of the offseason to ensure his hand still fits in the glove of the Shanahan offense, which has become one of the trendier schemes in the last few years thanks to the success enjoyed by Shanahan-coordinated teams in Atlanta and San Francisco. There's no guarantee Williams -- who is playing the 2020 season on the final year of his existing contract -- receives a new deal before the season, either, so the quicker he can get reacclimated, the better for everyone.
It sounds as if his departure from Washington alone gave Williams a boost, and going to the reigning NFC champions is a savory cherry on top. Having a full year off should help his health, too.
"I feel like I'm 25 again," he said. "It's my first year off of football since the second grade. It's like 25 years of straight football every August. My body has had a chance to rest, a chance to heal. I don't know if I've ever been in a position where I don't feel an ache or a pain in the offseason. I feel rejuvenated to say the least."
Williams will replace Joe Staley, who retired last week, on the left side and join an offense that thrashed Green Bay in an NFC Championship Game romp, its latest and final dominant performance in the 2019 season. With Williams at left tackle and the additions made via the draft, the 49ers might be even more imposing in 2020.
The big question Williams will have to answer is: Can he return to his Pro Bowl-caliber play of years past? It's always somewhat of a risk to trade for someone who doesn't have any recent tape, although the 49ers didn't give up all that much (the most being a third-round selection) in the deal. It will look like a steal if Williams can return to premier form.
"I just want to get on the field, man. I can't lie," Williams said Thursday. "I've been chomping at the bit for some time. I've had my roller coaster of emotions because I did go back (to Washington) at the trade deadline. I was getting ready to play. I got that adrenaline dump. Now I'm chomping at the bit to (be) able to get on the field with a Super Bowl-caliber team. That's all I can think about right now."