The San Francisco 49ers re-signed defensive tackle Ian Williams to a contract extension on Monday, according to Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk. The deal is a two-year extension, which means Williams will be with the team through the 2015 season.
Williams was entering the final year of his contract, which he received as an undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame two seasons ago. According to the report, Williams will make $3.2 million over the course of the extension, with a $1 million signing bonus and another $1 million in guaranteed money.
It's likely a crucial signing for the 49ers, who could find themselves short on defensive line talent after free agency. Ricky Jean-Francois, the primary backup at both defensive end and nose tackle in San Francisco's 3-4 defense, is a free agent and has been receiving interest this offseason.
On top of that, Isaac Sopoaga, the starting nose tackle, is also a free agent. He's played very well in the starting role for the 49ers, but the team has been moving to more of a hybrid scheme in which linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks play at the line to rush the passer, which means Sopoaga rotates off the field. In short, they don't utilize the base 3-4 defense for even 35 percent of their defensive snaps, or at least they didn't in 2012.
Enter Williams, who has been viewed as a player with solid potential, despite going undrafted. He's appeared in just four games with the 49ers over two seasons, but this extension shows that the team views him as a player who will receiving some playing time going forward, likely as a backup along the defensive line.