Trent Williams fought his way out of Washington after a decade in D.C. Ahead of Sunday's grudge match between his new team and old, the San Francisco 49ers left tackle said he holds no ill will towards his former teammates.
"I won't sit here and hold grudges for no reason," Williams said Thursday, via ESPN. "The people I had an issue with, they're not there. The people who helped instigate the situation are no longer a part of the organization. I'm not going to sit here and carry some grudge because people expect me to carry it."
Those that Williams took most issue with were former team president Bruce Allen and head athletic trainer Larry Hess, neither of whom is with the club any longer.
Williams said his desire to leave Washington was more than just for a new contract.
"It wasn't about the money," Williams said. "It was about respect. It felt I didn't get that from them at that point. Nine years previous to that, I didn't have an issue. I've seen issues happen [there] but I overlooked them because they didn't happen to me. It was my first time being on that side of things. The better decision was to just go my separate way."
Williams didn't play in his final year with Washington after a medical ordeal prompted him to request a trade. The problems with his former club had nothing to do with teammates, several of whom supported the left tackle's position last season.
"I didn't have an issue with those guys in the locker room," Williams said. "Those guys in the locker room supported me from Day 1 until now. They publicly showed support and privately showed support. I have nothing to prove to those guys who are going to be taking the field."
Williams added that he met new coach Ron Rivera once last year, but even after that meeting, he stuck with his desire for a trade, which eventually came in April.
"There was a glimmer of hope I would remain there," Williams said. "But after talking to Ron, we were on two different pages. He wanted everybody to show him what they had. The point I was at in my career, I didn't feel I had to show him what I had just to stick around. I knew there would be suitors out there and I wanted to go my own way.
"No disrespect. Very professional, very likeable guy. I've heard nothing but good things about him prior to the meeting and after the meeting. Never an issue."
The 49ers tweaked Williams' contract ahead of the season without adding additional years to the pact. One of the best left tackles in the NFL is slated to hit free agency in the offseason unless the Niners extend him or use the franchise tag this offseason.