The Rams and star defensive tackle Aaron Donald agreed to a new three-year deal that made Donald the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. That contract may have been the impetus behind Donald’s decision to continue playing football instead of hanging up his pads and retiring. His decision to return to the gridiron wasn’t a welcome one for 49ers left tackle Trent Williams.
“I wish he would have retired, but he deserved a new contract” Williams told reporters after Tuesday’s practice.
There might’ve been a hint of a joke in the first part of Williams’ statement, but a lot of truth is said in jest. While the 49ers have had some luck with containing Donald over the last few years, he’s still a nightmare on the interior. He didn’t post a sack against San Francisco the regular season last year, but he did have 15 tackles and three tackles for loss. In the NFC championship game he had three tackles and two quarterback hits, including the one that forced an interception from Jimmy Garoppolo on San Francisco’s final offensive play. In the three games Donald posted seven total pressures per Pro Football Focus.
Williams and Donald will face off plenty over the next three years, even if they don’t match up one-on-one very often. San Francisco hosts the Rams in Week 4 on Monday Night Football this season. They’ll visit Donald and the Rams at SoFi Stadium in Week 8.