Nose tackle Ian Williams went undrafted two years ago and did not even receive a signing bonus from the 49ers to come to training camp.
And he did not get much of an opportunity to show what he could do in a game in his first two NFL seasons. Williams appeared in just four games and played 39 defensive snaps.
But the 49ers saw enough from Williams in practices to award him Monday with a two-year, $3.2 million extension that includes a $1 million signing bonus.
[MAIOCCO: 49ers extend Ian Williams]
"It feels good," Williams said. "I came here with a suitcase and some dreams, and now I'm able to call my mom and hear her excitement over the phone and know I have a little more stability now."
The players ahead of Williams on the depth chart the past two seasons are scheduled for free agency. The signing period begins Tuesday at 1 p.m. (PT). Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois are expected to attract some interest on the open market.
When asked if he believes he can be a starter next season, Williams answered, "I'm going to go out there and camp and OTAs and compete and do what I need to do. And if team feels strong enough about me . . . that's not my call. I'm here to have fun and be with the guys and live my life and play football and live my dream."
Williams said he still carries a chip on his shoulder from not getting drafted after playing 45 games at Notre Dame. In retrospect, he admits being able to choose his team worked to his advantage.
"It's something that's still burning in my mind and my heart that I want to prove to everybody that I am somebody and I have some worth," he said.