Is this the end for Joe Staley?

Trent Williams is officially a 49er. How about Joe Staley?
(Photo: Associated Press)

Landing a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive tackle at a bargain rate is a cause for joy. In the 49ers’ case, it brings a little sadness, too.

Acquiring Trent Williams for a fifth-round pick in 2020 and a third-rounder in 2021 is a bold move that should make the Niners better over the next few seasons. But it almost certainly signals the end of the road for Joe Staley, the smart, dependable humble man who held down the left tackle position in San Francisco and Santa Clara the past 12 years (and right tackle as a rookie in 2007).

As of this writing, neither Staley nor the 49ers has made an announcement about his future. But it’s hard to imagine the team making room for Staley, Williams and right tackle Mike McGlinchey, the Niners’ first-round draft pick in 2018.

At the time of the trade, Williams, who sat out the entire 2019 season in a contract dispute with Washington, was slated to earn $12.5 million in 2020, the final year of his current deal. It makes little sense that the 49ers would go get him for just one season; presumably, they could have stuck with Staley if they were concerned only with 2020. The hope, I’m sure, is that the Niners can reach agreement on an extension for Williams. He is 31, four years younger than Staley.

Unless Staley has already informed coach Kyle Shanahan of his intention to retire. We’ll try to get some clarity as the day proceeds.

This article has 178 Comments

  1. Per Adam Schefter: “Here’s what helped set into motion the Trent Williams’ trade: six-time Pro Bowl and All-Decade OT Joe Staley is expected to retire due to health concerns, per league sources. The 35-year-old Staley wanted to inform the 49ers in a timely way to help find a replacement. They have.”

    1. Thank you, Joe for your stellar work manning the left flank for the 49ers all these years. You exemplify professionalism, and not only will your excellence be missed, your personality will be missed in the locker room as well.

      Snyder got scalped by Shanny in what can only be described as karma. What goes around comes around, Danny boy!

    2. At least the Chase Young rumor link wasn’t a total waste with the Trent Williams package. And I don’t have to be upset at not getting Tristan Wirfs at #13. Maybe they still had hopes for Williams?

    3. Pot…Kettle:
      As fans, we have the honor of witnessing the passing of a 9er legend, Joe Staley.

      * The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last.
      Stone crumbles, wood rots. People die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, can go on forever!

      While I don’t know who the author was, I do believe it’s true…..Here’s to you Joe Staley!

  2. I hope Staley retires to help the salary cap, but then is signed back at the end of the season (if there is a season), to help with the SB run, so he can finally get his ring.

  3. Thanks to Joe for an amazing career. Your loyalty will be never forgotten. Niners are now the heavy SB favorites. Boys, we have one of the best O lines in the NFL!!! Trent Williams is a beast and that’s putting it mildly. It’s our time boys enjoy the ride!!

      1. This guy is Elite. Not a blimp of worry. Focus on a 3 year extension. He wants to be here. He declined a trade to Vikings.

        1. Explains a lot. Shanny knew Joe was done, and that he had Williams in his back pocket the whole time. Both disgruntled former employees got over on their former Redskins boss. I ‘m very impressed by the lack of leaking by this administration….

    1. I know we had a bet, damn if I can remember it, I do know you lost :). I have a feeling you would like to honor the bet…

        1. I don’t remember and I am not going back to look it up lol. Your affirmation is good enough for me, consider it honored.

            1. I don’t even have a clue other then the record was going to be 9-7 or better. Still planning on seeing you around the 15th of August.

          1. Thanks UC. If anyone remembers I will certainly honor the terms of our wager. Glad that the 49ers had a wonderful season. Sad they didn’t get over the hump but it was great watching them them last year.

      1. They really don’t have to resign him. He’s had motivational issues in the past and he’s had a year off.
        If the Niners are smart, wait. See what type of shape he comes into camp at. See how he performs over a 16 week schedule, and what type of leader is he.
        There is zero need to give him a long term contract. Make it a one year incentive laden deal.
        Then if he performs, you sign him.

        1. this is a high potential win/win situation either for the above reasons. glad they made this move, although I was hoping for another upgrade at guard.

    1. Of all the 49ers I have watched over the last 30+ seasons, Joe Staley, Frank Gore and Steve Young are the players I liked most. So sorry that those two couldn’t get a ring.

  4. While respecting Big Scootie’s consternation as to the regime’s draft approach, I can only imagine how dumbfounded he might be if he took a look see at the Packers and Broncos draft’s….

  5. Matt Breida traded for 153rd! Another Tackle with that pick! Good luck Breida…sad to see you go.

    Love the draft so far….get a Corner and an edge or an Corner and RB with the last two picks. Trust this regime to get Undrafter RBs who are productive.

          1. Neal – I guess the biggest knock against Marquise is his ability to stay on the field….either through injuries or unfortunate personal tribulations.

            So he has value when he is on the field bcoz he is someone who can stretch the field, especially with someone like Wentz who is known for his cannon arm.

  6. “McKivitz was 227 on PFF’s board. The redshirt senior is 6’6”, 306 pounds. PFF gave McKivitz a pass blocking grade of 82.5 in 2019. He’s played both right and left tackle for the Mountaineers. PFF’s bottom line on McKivitz:

    McKivitz deserves some credit for making the switch from right to left tackle and not seeing his performance dip. His play strength though didn’t improve, and it was the main thing we needed to see fixed in 2019. If an offensive tackle can’t drop anchor versus a bullrush, the word gets out and he’ll be getting bull-rushed every single play. So far in his career, McKivitz has shown no ability to consistently anchor versus even college defensive lineman. He has some things to like about his game, but that lack of play strength is a nonstarter.”

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2020/4/25/21236452/49ers-trade-matt-breida-to-the-dolphins-for-a-fifth-round-pick

    1. I’ve read about his inability to anchor on a few other evaluations.

      Maybe someone can comment about if/how this can be improved?

  7. Sorry to see Breida go.

    Is he a backup tackle or a possible starting guard? ESPN’s comment was he might be more suited as a guard.

  8. Ugh… I do not like this move.
    I get moving Brieda due to his salary but I would have preferred Hall or if we stuck with Oline, would have preferred gambling on Muti or Ismael here.

  9. I would have liked Tyler Biadasz there at 153. Oh well.

    Good luck to Staley and Breida. Quality players, and more importantly quality people.

  10. Best case scenario – Williams plays well in 2020 and get resigned long term next 3-4 yrs.

    Worst case scenario – He plays well and wants too much money – 49ers get a 3rd comp pick if he leaves…..

    Justin Skule gets another year to get better (lesson learned from Staley and now Williams)

    Really love what the org is doing….full confidence in JL and Kshan

  11. We are so deep we are picking the practice squad in the 5th round….

    McKivitz is on the lighter side with below-average length and top-end speed. He rewraps and gets his hands inside in pass pro. He loses inside leverage and gets beat to the inside at times. He’s late delivering punch. McKivitz gets off the ball and generates good initial push in the run game. His pads rise and he falls off blocks late. He has starting experience at both tackle spots. Best fit may be at guard. — Steve Muench

  12. Topic shift, but could be pertinent:
    Disney announced their theme parks probably won’t re-open until 2021. That provides some context about NFL stadiums likelihood of seeing fans this coming season, and may be suggestive regarding NCAA and HS games as well. TBD

  13. I wish them well. Matt Breida and Marquise Goodwin will have more opportunities with their new teams.
    .
    John Lynch has put on his ‘Trader Bill’ hat, and is wheeling and dealing.

    1. Top 5 favorite niner of all time. Loved watching him play, was glad we were able to get to the big game one last time for him. I’ll miss his interviews so much, and always miss the Joe Show. I gotta think broadcasting is in his future. Good luck to you sir and God bless

  14. Hmmm, Jacob Eason, the QB that Grant wanted the Niners to pick with the 31st pick, went at 122 to the Colts.
    .
    Jake Fromm went to the Bills at 167. Guess the QB talent dropped precipitously after Love.

      1. Hard-charging, pesky blocker whose lack of size and length make him a candidate for a move to fulltime fullback or H-back. Woerner simply doesn’t have it in him to give the defender a half-speed rep and he’s more than ready to collide into his target on iso-blocks or in space. He has the body control and radar to handle move blocking duties but lacks the physical traits teams seek. Woerner has some athleticism but was a relative non-factor as a pass-catcher and needs to stand out on special teams to bolster his chances.

        1. The 49ers may have finally replaced Delaney Walker (swiss army knife) with Charlie Woerner. This guy may have played in a lesser college division, but there’s no denying his talent. Earlier in the week we were hoping that the 49ers could find some hidden gems in the later rds – well, they found one.

          1. Really? Delanie Walker? The guy is a blocker.

            They have replaced Toilolo in the immediate term, and potentially Juice long term.

            1. Why not? We haven’t had a SAK type player since DW left. Hurd still might be that guy, but his back could be a chronic injury going forward.
              Woerner is a very good blocker – DW
              CW has good catch and RAC ability – DW
              CW can run out of the backfield – DW
              CW can make tacklers miss – DW
              And while doesn’t have DW speed, he will break tackles to gain the extra yrds.
              This makes for a good SAK player, imo.

              1. How many catches did Woerner have in his college career? 34 over 4 years? Seems a bit of a stretch to assume he has the receiving ability to be anything like Walker.

              2. “How many catches did Woerner have in his college career? 34 over 4 years.”

                He played in a running offense at Georgia. There is minimal use of the TE in their passing scheme. So the fact that he didn’t have big stats as a receiver doesn’t necessarily mean that he can’t catch.

                You are right about him being a good blocker which is a big part of Shanahan’ offense, but I believe that he’s going to be a pleasant surprise when he shows out some of the other things he can do.
                This guy will be my hidden gem in this draft.

              3. I hope you are right AES, though Isaac Nauta saw a decent amount of passes while he was there. Tbh, I would just be happy with him developing into a good FB to replace Juice. I think the Juice injury last year highlighted to Shanahan how much they need to have a guy on the 53 that can fill in at that spot if he gets injured again. But can’t keep two FBs on the roster, so the backup has to be able to play TE as well which is where a guy like Woerner makes a lot of sense.

  15. It really sucks to see Staley retire but I figured this was a pretty strong possibility given the time it was taking to hear confirmation either way. I suspect he had informed the 49ers he would retire before now and both parties were keeping it under wraps while the 49ers negotiated for Williams. I also suspect some tampering occurred but will never be able to be proven!

    Oddly enough, as good as Staley has been, at 36 the team has actually improved with the addition of Williams imo. Williams is a fantastic LT and like a younger Staley is tailor made for this offense. The only concern is the injury history.

    Getting him for a 5th and future 3rd is brilliant.

    One thing I am not clear on is whether the part of his salary that became guaranteed in 1st April will count against the salary cap. If it does then Staley’s delay in making a decision has cost the 49ers a bit there. But I suspect it might not count.

    1. My heart is filled with pride for what Lynch and Shanny have accomplished thus far, and what they’ve been able to do with their hats on these past 3 days….

      1. Well, you know my thoughts on their approach to the draft this year, but I certainly like the additions of Kinlaw, Aiyuk and Williams.

        1. I also like the subtraction of $21 million, and $11 million for Buckner/Sanders, along with $3 million and $4 million for Breida and Goodwin respectively….

  16. For those that have been wondering about the delay in the Kittle extension, I think this draft weekend has given us our answer why it hasn’t been officially done yet. The team wanted to hold onto the Breida and Goodwin contracts in order to trade them, and they needed to keep space available to add Williams’ contract.

    With the trades of Breida and Goodwin now complete plus retirement of Staley this should effectively free sufficient space for Williams’ contract and extension of Kittle.

    1. While I’m still not big on their 1st/2nd round strategy on getting their guy by any means instead of letting talent fall to them, I do love the overall strategy of this offseason particularly. These are the types of moves and philosophy that has us as contenders now even with the pitfalls of some of our early picks.

      1. Yeah… I have mixed feelings about their overall offseason strategy. They did a lot of good things, but also a few questionable things imo.

        On the good side:
        – Choosing to go with Armstead plus pick 13 was a really sound long term choice over Buck plus probably a mid round pick, especially when you factor in Armstead’s contract allowed them to keep Ward.
        – I like the additions of Kinlaw and Aiyuk.
        – Getting Williams to replace Staley is huge, and didn’t cost much draft capital. This was a future (and turns out immediate) hole they hopefully have filled with perennial PB talent for the next few years.
        – Holding onto Breida and Goodwin long enough to get something in return for them was smart.

        Things that leave me scratching my head a bit:
        – I appreciate the team was awesome last year, so wanting to recreate that as much as possible makes a certain kind of sense. But every year is different. I feel like they have tried a little too hard to recreate last year. And the team has lost three pretty key vets – no guarantees their replacements will get it done to the same level (in fact for the rookies it is unlikely). Imo they kind of need some of the guys coming off injury or some of the young guys that haven’t done much to date to come back and provide good contributions to help make up some of the loss of Buck and Sanders (which is definitely possible).
        – Not sure why they decided to get rid of Person and sign Compton for what seems like a similar contract. Person isn’t great, but neither is Compton. Person knows the system and can be backup at OG or OC.
        – Their approach has essentially meant they have ignored future areas of need to some degree. They have a lot of guys coming off contract next year (including their new LT atm) and don’t have tonnes of cap space to re-sign them all. It would seem like having a couple of young guys coming up ready to replace a few of these guys would be prudent, especially in the secondary which atm is going to be decimated this offseason.

        1. Definitely going to be interesting to see what their plan is in the next 2-3 years. They still have possible cap clearing moves next year like Ford, Sherman, and even JG if he doesn’t prove his worth. The secondary will take a hit, but with draft picks and FA. I’m sure they have a plan.

          But yes I agree, the theme has been running it back for another go. I’m hoping Hurd and Aiyuk produce big and add even more dimensions to this offense.

  17. One thing I have noticed about the late round OL they draft – they value starting experience. Skule and McKivitz were four year starters.

    1. @Scooter
      You just figured out the 49ers always value college starting experience?

      All this while 49ers had been drafting mostly players who were Seniors or who were invited to the Senior bowl.

      I told you earlier- you don’t understand what this team is doing…

          1. I wonder how long it will take for you to realise the difference between being a senior vs being a four year starter…?

      1. Razor, I really wonder about this pick. A knock against him is that he can’t anchor. Is it enough to gain weight and strength, or is it more a matter of body type (center of gravity)?

  18. Jesus I was wrong about a lot of things in this draft but I did nail one on the head:
    4:50 PM · Apr 4, 2020
    4evrnyt
    @4evrnyt
    Replying to
    @grantcohn
    He could retire after the draft. Possible he’s already informed the team and they’re keeping it hush so as not to tip off their hand.

  19. I wonder if they would have taken any of the tackles that were drafted prior to #13 or if Williams was the plan all along.

  20. 49er next season gameday WR’s

    Deebo Samuel
    Brandon Aiyuk
    Kendrick Bourne
    Trent Taylor
    Dante Pettis
    Richie James Jr.
    Jalen Hurd

        1. He seems passionate. My understanding is it was more a falling out with the previous regime. Same regime Hurd had a falling out with, which makes me think the 49ers are understanding of the players viewpoint on that regime.

      1. @scooter – lol….damn dude – you are really are way off on the 49ers…

        KBourne?…..JJ he is that player Hurd could have been last year

        KBourne is 6′ 1″, 190 lbs. ……..

        We need a versatile physical WR/TE/HB in this offense…..to take off the pressure on Kittles and Kyle Jusz…………

          1. Don’t you just love how the very same people who claim to have a pulse on this team, also can’t predict any of their moves?
            I remember people speculating that the team would keep Buck and get rid of Armstead. That this was the right move.

        1. onelame says….

          @scooter – lol….damn dude – you are really are way off on the 49ers…

          KBourne?…..JJ he is that player Hurd could have been last year

          KBourne is 6′ 1″, 190 lbs. ……..

          We need a versatile physical WR/TE/HB in this offense…..to take off the pressure on Kittles and Kyle Jusz…………

          Says the guy who claimed Alex Smith was going to retire a 49er as one of the greats.
          Says the guy who isn’t smart enough to know hot weather kills virus’ And that a vaccine is going to cure all.

          Says the guy who was banned 2 times. Once from the writer here now. Over his feelings getting hurt because most didn’t see Alex Smith like he did.
          (Weird)

          Onelame ..the gift that keeps giving!
          Insert Ribico now, They seem to think they’re some sort of Tag team champs of something. maybe Keyboard Warriors! 🤷🏽‍♂️

          1. Insert Ribico now

            SMDH.

            They can’t fix stupid. C-19 says, just watch me.

            md, don’t do anything stupid, ok? Stay away from those flu klux clan rallies, no Lysol chasers, no ultraviolet enemas. Just let your President do that crap.

      1. Iggy Cohn, where everyday was “Bring your daddy to work day”! What an arrogant little pr**k! Him and his “old” man. Good riddens!

      2. Im sure you guys have all dissected this but thats crazy!

        Phil barber keeps up his solid next man up back role streak going!

  21. Jauan Jennings – 6’3″ 215……similar to Jalen Hurd – 6′ 4″, 230 lbs

    Guessing insurance policy if JHurd is not ready- the only thing standing in his way might be his “big mouth”

    Big slot target with size, savvy and toughness, but lacking in functional speed and general quickness. Jennings can be clever in stemming and tilting coverage enough to open throwing windows, but getting away from press coverage is going to be difficult for him. What he can’t do may keep him from being drafted, but competitiveness at the catch point, with the ball in his hands, and as a blocker should get him into camp and give him an outside shot as a big, possession slot.

  22. How good is it to be a Niner fan? Our front office and coaching staff might be the best in the business. Everyone on the same page and they have truly built a winner on and off the field.
    Not everyone is going to agree on the picks but the formula has not wavered. Tough guys, who can run and are quality teammates. Look up every guy they drafted and all reports indicate each guy is super competitive and a good teammate.
    We are the best team in the NFC West and thats where it starts. Beating teams in your division and winning it!

    1. The acquisition of Williams was one of the most covert operations to date ever executed by a 49ers front office.

      1. How?

        The Emmanuel trade very risky got them to the SB…..

        Put on the facemask and wait till we see what we are exactly getting and how far he would take us.

    2. oneniner / PT
      IMO the Cards will beat out the Sea-hags and be our competition for the NFC west, with the LA Lambs a train
      wreck, looking for a place to happen.

      1. Renas, consider the 30 other alternatives. Not even getting to the big game. There’s losing and there’s losing. Feel better now?

  23. A. Snyder animus.
    B. Salary machinations.
    C. Lack of draft capital
    D. Keeping Staley’s retirement radio silent
    E. Passing on Wirfs
    F. The Redskins asking price
    G. The Vikings decision to take Cleveland
    H. Salary cap and contract demands

    A perfect storm for a covert plan and steel ball execution best describes what they were able to do in this trade. Unlike the Sanders trade which was obvious or the Jimmy trade which fell into their laps….

    1. i agree razor! so many moving parts! any one of witch could have thrown the whole deal off! James Bond would be proud right now!

  24. its obvious what the 49ers are doing…

    They will pay big the positions (QB, TE, LT, DE, DT, LB) top dollar, hoping those high paid positions will improve the play of the above average – (RB, WR, DB)

  25. There was someone around here who shortly after the season said that the 49ers should move on from Staley because he was at the end of the road, can’t remember who that was ……

        1. Haha, yeah, not sure why one has decided he wants to follow me around, but all good. This is one of the most fun times of year and given everything going on it has been awesome having some football to talk about. Hope you are doing well mate.

  26. So I guess we should look at the 2020 draft haul like this:
    – Javon Kinlaw
    – Brandon Aiyuk
    – Dee Ford
    – Trent Williams
    – Colton McKivitz
    – Charlie Woerner
    – Jauan Jennings.

    That’s four presumptive starters added, two of which we already know are PB talents in the NFL. Not bad at all. You could add Sanders to that list but given he isn’t on the roster anymore I don’t count him.

  27. JaMycal Hasty to the 49ers as an UDFA. Absolutely love the addition. Every time I watched Mims he was a guy that popped as both a runner and receiver.

    1. Add DeMarkus Acy to the list. Big, fast CB that many scouts believe could have been a day 2 pick if not for injury this past season.

    2. Looks like the Lynch-pin is still wheelin’ and dealin.’ Not bad for a 4 yr GM.
      Hey Seb, the stench of Baalke is completely gone!

  28. The DB…

    CB DeMarkus Acy, Missouri
    Source: Peter Baugh, The Athletic
    Notes: All-SEC corner in 2018 and was a team captain. He didn’t receive a Combine invite.

    1. Harrell’s pro day…

      Draft Diamonds

      Chase Harrell the former Kansas grad transfer wide receiver converted to tight end/defensive end recently crushed his pro day. Several scouts had him in the 4.4’s on his forty. There were a handful of teams in attendance to watch Harrell. The Dolphins, Saints, Giants, Bengals, and Colts all talked

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    1. So the spam filters don’t actually filter out spam but do succeed in harassing long time blog fans. Impressive.

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