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Ankle surgery for Ian Williams causes 5-year deal with 49ers to become 1-year deal

Before free agency officially began, the 49ers locked up defensive tackle Ian Williams, but now his future with the team is back in doubt.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle Ian Williams will remain in San Francisco, but not on the five-year contract he reportedly agreed to with the 49ers earlier in March. Instead, it's a one-year deal according to Adam Schefter and Field Yates of ESPN following a failed physical for Williams after he had ankle surgery.

Williams, 26, was an undrafted player out of Notre Dame in 2011 but he didn't get significant playing time until 2014, when the 49ers inserted him into the lineup as a rotational player.

Unfortunately, Williams has also dealt with multiple injuries, and played in just nine games in 2014. He was a big question mark going into last season, but the 49ers believed in him and he became a full-time starter on the line, playing in all 16 games and looking as healthy as can be.

That luck didn't follow him to the offseason though, and he needed a procedure on his ankle that has the 49ers questioning if he'll be ready to go for the season opener in 2016.

Williams put up 65 total tackles, a sack and a pass deflection this past season. He played at a high level and looked like an above average defensive tackle. It also happened to be the final year of his contract, but the one concern was his injury history and the fact that he had just the one season of high level tape.

Still, he will be 27 years old when next season gets underway with a world of potential ahead of him, but just a one-year, $6 million deal with no guarantees to show he has recovered and belongs in San Francisco. Williams fits best in a 3-4 where he can take up space and get to the running back, and was originally considered a nose tackle when the 49ers brought him in.