By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the agreement says free agent nose tackle Ian Williams has reached a new five-year deal to remain with the San Francisco 49ers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday, the start of the NFL’s new calendar year, because the contract hadn’t been announced.

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Williams has emerged as an important member in the middle of San Francisco’s once-stout defense, which lost linebacker Patrick Willis to retirement last March followed by Chris Borland and veteran defensive end Justin Smith. Aldon Smith also was released, then joined the Oakland Raiders before being hit with a yearlong suspension.

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The 26-year-old Williams had 65 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble last year during the 49ers’ 5-11 finish.

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