For the first time in 10 years, the Redskins’ left tackle spot features uncertainty. Trent Williams has not been with the team for OTAs and minicamp and is reported to be unhappy with the organization, to the point he wants to leave.
While the 10th-year blocker’s dissatisfaction with the Redskins regarding their handling of his most recent medical situation — having a growth removed from his head — may not be the driving force of his absence.
Williams may be upset with the team over the recent medical developments, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes the seven-time Pro Bowler’s holdout stems from his contract. This was the initial view of Williams’ minicamp absence, and the medical component in this situation may have made it worse.
The Redskins extended Williams in 2015. The five-year, $66MM deal made him the NFL’s highest-paid tackle. From a AAV standpoint, his contract has not been significantly diminished by recent tackle deals. The soon-to-be 31-year-old lineman still sits seventh among tackles at $13.2MM per year, and $24MM remains on the contract. However, the contract the Raiders gave Trent Brown did change the marketplace a bit. The $16.5MM-AAV pact for a non-Pro Bowler was eye-opening, but the Raiders had plenty of cap space and spent it wildly this offseason.
Redskins president Bruce Allen addressed the situation but declined to go into detail. The longtime Washington executive did say he has spoken with Williams a few times this year.
“I know what Trent told me so I know what the truth is,” Allen said, via Finlay. “I’ll leave my conversation with Trent between the two of us. Trent has been a valuable player for us and that’s why we signed him to the contract he has.”
An argument against a new contract would be Williams’ injury trouble in recent years. He missed three games last season and six in 2017 and has not played 16 games since the 2014 season. A four-game substance-abuse suspension interrupted his 2016 slate. But the Redskins did not address their tackle situation much this offseason. They signed Ereck Flowers, who has been moved to guard, and did not draft a tackle. They did attempt to claim 2018 Browns starter Desmond Harrison, but the Cardinals beat them to it.
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