2. Trent Williams has said he plans to continue playing, but could a Super Bowl ring change his mind?
Over the course of his 13-year career, there's been no better left tackle in the league than Trent Williams. The former Oklahoma Sooner has been the anchor of the 49ers line since arriving in San Francisco four years ago, and before that, he was the one reliable constant on a Washington Redskins team that was famously dysfunctional.
Williams is 35 and left tackles rarely age gracefully into their late 30s if they play at all. That fact alone could lead one to conclude that Williams might be ready to start his Hall of Fame countdown, but Brock Purdy's blindside protector has arguably never been better, having been selected a first-team All-Pro three years running.
The Niners have an embarrassment of riches on offense, but while McCaffrey, Samuel, Aiyuk, Kittle, and Shanahan's offensive innovation are often cited as the reasons for Purdy's success (a bad faith argument if there ever was one anyway), Williams is rarely mentioned, when in fact he might be the most important piece of the puzzle.
Williams has made 11 Pro Bowls, and at this point in his career, the only thing missing from his trophy case is a Super Bowl ring. Even if the Niners topple the Chiefs, though, it doesn't seem like he's ready to call it a career.
For one thing, Williams still has three years remaining on his contract, and though his cap number will be astronomical, there's no doubt the 49ers would welcome him back with open arms to try and make another Super Bowl run.
Then there's the small matter of what Williams has actually said. After losing to the Eagles in last year's NFC Championship, the All-Pro said he briefly considered retirement, but that now his goal is to play until he's 40. There's nothing like winning a Super Bowl to change your thinking, but it feels like Williams isn't going anywhere.