Recent reports have indicated that the Redskins and left tackle Trent Williams could smooth over their well-documented differences and continue their relationship into 2020, and perhaps beyond that. Several weeks ago, Williams and new Washington head coach Ron Rivera had a “positive conversation,” and Rivera commented on that discussion at the scouting combine.
“We’re working through the details,” Rivera told reporters, including John Keim of ESPN.com. “We’re in a good place, a good conversation and we’re going to go from there.”
However, Keim cautions that plenty of obstacles remain. For one, multiple sources say that Williams, who is due a non-guaranteed $12.5MM salary in 2020 — the final year of his current deal — wants to be the highest-paid tackle in the league. Currently, Eagles RT Lane Johnson tops the tackle market in terms of AAV ($18MM), while Titans LT Taylor Lewan is the pace-setter in terms of total value ($80MM) and total guarantees ($50MM). Though Williams has been terrific throughout his career, that’s a lot of coin for a player who will turn 32 before the 2020 season starts and who hasn’t played a full 16-game slate since 2013.
If Williams doesn’t get a new deal from the Redskins, he wants to be traded, as Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter). That suggests that, despite his sit-down with Rivera, Williams is still not feeling all warm and fuzzy towards the team. However, ESPN’s Josina Anderson hears that Williams has not been given permission to seek a trade (Twitter link).
If the Redskins do trade Williams, they could theoretically trade down from their No. 2 overall selection in the 2020 draft and pick up a potential replacement. They would also clear $10.5MM of salary cap room, increasing their available space to over $70MM. But an elite left tackle is critical for any club, especially one with a young signal-caller like Dwayne Haskins, and if the Redskins can only net a second-round pick in a Williams trade — as many believe — then extending him may be the better option.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.