The Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year, $64MM deal. That is in line with the right tackle position’s upper echelon, but the team is prepared to keep Brown at his preferred blindside post. That has become an issue for Cincinnati’s incumbent left tackle.
Jonah Williams has requested a trade, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The former first-round pick has been the Bengals’ starting left tackle for the past three seasons and is set to play his fifth-year option campaign in 2023.
It would seem the Bengals need to part ways with one of their returning tackle starters. Their plans with Brown would mean a Williams relocation either way — to right tackle or to another team. Williams is due a $12.6MM salary this season; the Bengals signed Brown to a deal that will pay him $16MM on average.
It is not yet known if the Bengals are willing to entertain trade talks here, as option B would mean moving on from La’el Collins. The team would save $6MM by cutting Collins, though the former Cowboys blocker is tied to the team at an affordable rate (three years, $21MM). Collins is due just $4.5MM in base salary this season.
Following Cincinnati’s Brown investment, offensive line coach Frank Pollack said Williams and Collins would engage in what would be a high-profile position battle. Pollack said Williams would be moving to right tackle.
“We see competition always brings out the best in everybody,” Pollack said during an appearance on Dave Lapham’s In the Trenches podcast (h/t Cincy Jungle). “We got [La’el Collins] rehabbing, we’ll move [Jonah Williams] over there. We’re excited for that to develop and bring out the best of what we’ve got in the room on the offensive line.”
Of course, Pollack will not exactly indicate the organization’s plans to move one of these options. Both would seemingly be above the competition level, but the Bengals operate like one of the league’s more old-school franchises. It would not be shocking to see the team take all three tackles into training camp, even if a Williams trade would bring the most in terms of assets. But the team may need all three tackles to start the year. Collins suffered ACL and MCL tears on Christmas Eve.
Williams battled back from missing his rookie year due to a shoulder injury; the Alabama product has started 42 games since making his debut in 2020. Williams, 25, also has experience at right tackle. He lined up there for the Crimson Tide as a freshman in 2016, playing opposite future Jaguars second-round pick Cam Robinson that year. Alabama slid Williams to the left side for his sophomore season, and he zoomed onto the first-round radar after two seasons at that spot.
Williams being a left tackle since Alabama’s 2017 national championship season would make a transition back to the right side difficult, and the Bengals acknowledged this at the Combine (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Giardi). Pro Football Focus viewed Williams as a top-35 tackle during Cincinnati’s 2021 season, when they experienced issues at just about every other spot up front despite winning an AFC title, but slotted him outside the top 60 in 2022.
Still, Brown being off the market would make Williams an attractive trade chip — even though there are not too many teams carrying left tackle needs at this point. The Titans signed Andre Dillard, while the Chiefs are planning to kick Jawaan Taylor to the left side. Kansas City is a nonfactor here, as Cincinnati would almost definitely not trade Williams to the defending champion. Ditto Pittsburgh, which could use a left tackle upgrade. The Buccaneers have been connected to moving Tristan Wirfs to the left side as well. The Jets may be in need at the position, though Duane Brown plans to play his age-38 season, while the Patriots are tentatively expected to bring back Trent Brown.
59 comments on “Bengals LT Jonah Williams Requests Trade”
It would be amazing if the Bengals could get some sort of value trading him. We’ll see, I doubt it. The guy is extremely mediocre and multiple times every game allows a DE to run straight at Burrow untouched. Bengals picked up his 5th year option hoping he’d finally take that step forward and become at least a serviceable LT. He didn’t. His ego is too big to accept the fact that he isn’t an NFL caliber LT. Not sure what his NFL future looks like with that attitude.
Orlando Brown isn’t a left tackle either. Heavy feet. Can’t pass protect. He’s a run blocker. Basically gets beat with speed against mid tier pass rushers.
Brown isn’t a great left tackle, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a left tackle at all. He pretty clearly is.
The 20th ranked OT in the NFL. That’s a bit of an upgrade for Cincy, but he’s still not very good.
Yeah, he’s so bad he made the Pro Bowl and your Chiefs offered him $23 million a year. Stop be-clowning yourself bro
I could be wrong, but I think his pass protecting rating is elite. It’s his run blocking that is average
kingkeg Yep, you’re wrong Mikey P… Browns pass blk is 19th, his run blk is 19th and he is tied for 19th overall…
You were sold a lemon…. He’s gonna getcha qb hurt.
just a reminder that TJ lines up on the right
Nice look, Jonah.
What a clown. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that he sucks as a LT. I got really sick of seeing Burrow on the ground and Jonah waiting to help him up after being abused by his DE. He should thank the Bengals for the shot on the right side to salvage his career.
lol better get used to a TE or RB helping Brown every play. 19th vs Run 19th vs pass tied for 19th overall…
And yet he made the Pro Bowl
pro bowl doesn’t really mean much.
I still think it’s a good signing for them , but he’s mediocre at best
(which is still solid for a LT)
like others have tried to point out, he doesn’t have the footwork or agility to be a major factor in pass protection
Cody Whitehair for Williams even up, Salaries match. Call the Bears.
Dude couldn’t block a JV speed rush good riddance
Perfect trade candidate for the Patriots basically on a 1 year deal
Brown is no pro bowler, but he’s better than Williams. That being said, you would have thought the Bengals would have had a discussion with Williams about shifting positions prior to making the Brown deal.
Brown’s a 4x Pro Bowler.
I’m talking about his actual level of play, not of his willingness to show up at the game because others decided not to. Look at his PFF numbers. They are nothing special.
Brown grades about 14 points higher at LT….that’s not bad at all. And from week 10 through the SB, Brown was the third best pass blocking graded tackle on the season. Not always how ya start, sometimes it’s how you finish.
Nah… It’s how your HC schemes to hide him. But you keep thinking he’s something, just dont let Joe trust him.. ☠️
…hid on the highest volume passing offense? Sure, bud.
Wasn’t Williams banged up all of last year? I don’t think he’s great at his best, but his best is still a valuable commodity in the league if he can get back to it.
The Bengals will have to pay a part of his salary. This reminds me of the Mayfield fiasco last year. Team picks up 5th year option. Player doesn’t play good. Team goes out and upgrades. Player demands trade. Just like last year when no team was going to pay Mayfield 18 million in a walk year, no team will pay Williams 12 million
Not similar. There was only one real destination for a quarterback making anything remotely near starter money by the time Mayfield got traded. Lots of teams could use at least one tackle right now, and his money isn’t exorbitant for his track record, especially after seeing what someone like Dillard or even Taylor got.
He’s terrible. It’s very similar. You can say that a lot of teams need a tackle but they aren’t paying 12 million for this guy. Just like teams weren’t paying 18 million for Mayfield. Williams has backup grades
He had a bad year last year. He was perfectly good the two years prior. Some team will take a flier on him at a low trade price and hope that last year’s dip was just a temporary injury blip. And again, there are only 32 QB jobs worth paying as much as Mayfield was making last year, and having a QB plan has very different meaning for the whole direction of a team than having tackles. There are a lot more tackle jobs.
And a lot more tackles available too. It’s similar because both teams picked up the 5th year option. Both players underperformed. Both teams went out and got a better replacement. Both players demanded a trade. Those points are not arguable. Those are facts. We can disagree if you think someone will give the Bengals a draft pick and take on 12.3 million dollars for a guy in his walk year. You wouldn’t want to extend him until you see how he plays and by then, he may test the market if he has a good year. I live in Cincinnati. This guy has been a total flop. He’s missed a year and a half of his 4 years and has never performed above replacement.
There actually was a few teams that needed starting quarterbacks. Just nobody wanted Mayfield. Seattle. Atlanta. Indy. Carolina. Houston. Detroit. These are teams that needed a starting quarterback. A few, like Detroit and Seattle got some unexpected successes from Smith and Goff. Mayfield, like Williams, just wasn’t desirable because of their poor play
Whoops, response posted as a new post at the bottom accidentally.
Not at all. He’ll play if they don’t trade him. You need 5 lineman to start but the bengals play 6 a lot and for sure someone’s getting hurt. Happens to every team. If they can’t get value back, let him back up both sides.
Williams has been “banged up” his entire career.
Granted, he played through a lot last year, but he’s just a guy that struggles to stay at 100%.
Even when healthy, he’s not a world-beater. Athletic ends kill him. Against the ends, he seems like the equivalent of “guess hitter” in baseball. When he anticipates the wrong move, he gets beaten BADLY.
I always thought he ought to move to guard. And also always thought that if the Bengals tried to move him away from LT, he’d refuse – particularly if it was before he got his second contract. Decent LTs make a lot more money than good linemen at other spots.
The Bengals don’t play these games. Jonah picked the wrong team to demand a trade from. Their theory is …. Your under contract – play ball , period, as it should be.
It’s amazing how quickly guys in this league go from excited to even sniff the NFL ( not for long) to big headed and arrogant.
Still…thats a lot of cheddar tied up to the RT spot between he and Collins. If they keep both into camp, whoever loses the battle likely needs to go, no?
Collins will be out a lot of the season.
Seems likely they cut Collins. He looked terrible last year, he has a cap hit over $9 million, and they can get out with less than $2 million in dead money if they cut him post June 1st. There should be good RT prospects available where they’re drafting, too.
It’s not unusual for a lineman to take a year to get settled with a new team.
In this case, it seems less like a scheme/change of scenery adjustment and more like he doesn’t have the same physical capabilities anymore.
Bengals will never do a post June cut. Too smart for that none sense. They’ll eat it this year if they have to but probably won’t. Let one back up. That simple
Wait – are you talking about Jonah, or the other loser left tackle you just signed that can’t stop running his mouth about how great he is (isn’t)?
The loser who just won a Super Bowl? Seriously, did Brown do something to you personally? It’s amazing how aggrieved you are by a guy who just helped your team win a Super Bowl.
Stop beclowning yourself, bro.
The Bengals knew this was coming. And, they got a better player on a better contract than Jonah Williams is going to want next year.
Williams ought to tread lightly, though. Mike Brown doesn’t like being called out.
Niners should be all over this and put him at right tackle
Apparently you missed the part about Jonah not wanting to play RT
Indeed I did
Where to begin? First of all, Williams was perfectly solid in 2020 and 2021. He may not have lived up to hopes, but this idea of him as a total bust is wrong. Second, what tackles are available that are as good as him? At most, you’re talking about Wynn, who was benched last year, and Fant, who was injured last year after having exactly one good year. Houston and Seattle had options on hand they were more interested in giving a look.
There are way more teams that need a starting tackle option now than there were teams looking for an expensive veteran quarterback in late March of last year. You clearly dislike Williams as a Bengals fan. That’s fine. He’s still more tradeable than Mayfield was last year. He’s also more keepable than Mayfield was for Cleveland.
As for Mayfield’s market, Cleveland lost all leverage when they traded for Watson. Indy pivoted to Ryan three days later. Detroit was never going to acquire Mayfield to go with Goff.
Williams is refusing to play RT. I’m guessing Cincinnati lost leverage there too. Solid? Average at best. There may be teams that need a tackle but there’s some still available with a much lower price tag. Like I said before, we can disagree about whether Williams is worth anything or not, but my original point was that it’s similar to the Mayfield situation because both players were replaced during their 5th year option years because their teams wanted to upgrade the position. You don’t see that very often. Most teams either reject the 5th year option or pick it up and at least play the guy. Not many teams replace them going into the 5th year. That’s where it’s similar to Mayfield. I still don’t think you’ll see many teams willing to give up an asset and pay 12.3 million for a guy who has underperformed for his salary. Lots of guys out there with a better track record for less.
Fair enough, and to be clear, Mayfield was a towering achievement in bad leverage for Cleveland after the Watson trade. But I still wonder which veterans you think are out there for less and just as good.
Like I said 3 times already. How it transpired is the similar part. A lot of teams didn’t want Mayfield because of his immaturity. I don’t know that I’ve seen back to back years where a guy is replaced by a free agent signing after the team picked up his option year. Have you? And then both guys demanded trades, although Mayfield demanded his earlier. Taylor Lewan is available still. Last season, Williams played at a backup level. He was tied for most sacks allowed and missed a few games at season’s end. For the quality of play you’re gonna get from him, a backup LT with a fraction of the salary is a better move. Why do you think the Bengals moved on from him? That’s not how they operate. They usually will ride it out. They don’t actually acquire someone to be a starter when they already have the starter with guaranteed money
Yeah you guys are splitting hairs at this point. Your observation and point certainly has merit, regardless of whether there are differences…
Goodkat. There are differences. I said it’s similar. I never once said it was exactly the same situation. Can you name how many times that a team picked up a player’s option year and decided to acquire someone to take their place through free agency and the option year player requested a trade? I agree that Williams still may be able to become a viable starter for the rest of his career where I don’t think Mayfield will but neither have shown that they’re worth their contract
I was agreeing with you (for once), if that wasn’t clear enough.
Jonah Williams has never been “perfectly solid” for any extended stretch. He manned the most important spot on some historically bad offensive lines.
He wasn’t THE problem, but he sure wasn’t the answer, either.
This guy needs to convert to center or guard…Center he would excel if he can do it. I would love to see him in seattle as a reclamation project honestly
I think there was talk of him at guard coming out of college. Pretty sure he can’t play center though.
Losing the starting LT gig heading into your final contract year has to be a tough pill to swallow. He would be an idiot if he didn’t request a trade.
Might sound crazy but Jonah Williams for Cordalle Patterson and a 5th round pick.
ATL could do with adding a quality young tackle, between him, Mathews, Hennessy, Lindstrom and Mayfield you’d have a solid o line. Allgeier and Huntley can handle the running duties.
As for the bengals, Patterson would be a really good return specialist, catching option and overall cover at RB if anything happened to Mixon. Your obviously set at QB, RB, WR and on the o line. I’d grab a TE in the draft and then your offence is completely done and everything should be invested in making the defence as strong.