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San Francisco 49ers bring back NT Ian Williams

By The Sports Xchange
San Francisco 49ers bring back NT Ian Williams
Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron is sacked by San Francisco 49ers' Ian Williams (93) for a six yard loss in the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California on December 20, 2015. The Bengals defeated the 49ers 24-14. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Nose tackle Ian Williams agreed to a five-year contract to remain with the San Francisco 49ers.

The deal with Williams can become official Wednesday afternoon, and keeps one of the top defensive linemen available in free agency on the roster.

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San Francisco had a huge cap surplus as the league year began Wednesday and marked retaining Williams as a priority after losing several key defenders last season - including inside linebackers Patrick Williams and Chris Borland to retirement, pass-rushing linebacker Aldon Smith was released and defensive end Justin Smith retired.

Williams stepped in as a fulltime starter in 2015 and had 65 tackles.

The former undrafted free agent from Notre Dame spoke highly of former coach Jim Tomsula, who coached the defensive line group before he was promoted to replace Jim Harbaugh as head coach in January 2015.

First-year head coach Chip Kelly plans to use a 3-4 defense and hired Jim O'Neil to run it. O'Neil did not have great results in Cleveland last season, when injuries on the defensive line were a factor.

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