Jonah Williams requested a trade out of Cincinnati shortly after the team gave Orlando Brown a four-year, $64MM contract. While many around the league view Brown’s best position as right tackle, the Bengals are accommodating the former Ravens and Chiefs blocker’s wish to play on the left side.
When the Bengals signed Brown, Williams learned about it like the rest of the football world did. The three-year Cincinnati left tackle starter was “blindsided” by the move, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. The Bengals have talked about wanting Williams at right tackle, but Conway adds they did not communicate those plans to the former first-round pick ahead of time.
It is not exactly uncommon for teams to move forward with big-picture plans without informing players those strategies will affect, though franchises have made a habit of alerting quarterbacks to future additions at the position in recent years. The Bengals, however, did not expect to land Brown. The Pro Bowl tackle’s reps contacted the team, according to Bengals director of pro scouting Steven Radicevic (via The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr.).
Nearly three days after the legal tampering period gave agents permission to negotiate with teams, Brown remained unsigned. The Bengals entered free agency wanting to re-sign Vonn Bell, Germaine Pratt, Hayden Hurst and Samaje Perine, Dehner adds, noting the team viewed Jessie Bates as out of its price range. Bates signed a four-year, $64MM Falcons deal on the tampering period’s first day. Bell’s age prompted the Bengals to set a firm ceiling on his negotiations, leading the eighth-year safety to the Panthers, who later signed Hurst to what turned out to be this year’s top tight end deal. Perine defected to the Broncos for terms nearly identical to what the Bengals offered.
Brown’s camp showed interest in the Bengals on March 14; the sides agreed to terms March 15. Seeking a job on another contender, Brown said Joe Burrow‘s presence attracted him to Cincinnati; the Bengals will give him $42.4MM in the deal’s first two years. The upfront cash sealed the deal, per Dehner. The Bengals were looking at free agent tackles, Dehner adds, but initially eyeing lower-priced options. One of those coming to Cincinnati may not have led to Williams being moved off his starting spot without competition, but Brown’s pedigree will. As a result, Williams wants out.
Zac Taylor said this week he expects Williams to be back and partake in a competition at right tackle, a position the former has not played since his freshman season at Alabama. Going into a contract year, Williams wants to stay at his position.
“We want guys that are willing to do to help us win games,” Taylor said, via Conway. “And I understand there’s comfort levels playing certain sides. Trust me, I played quarterback so I’m not going to sit there and pretend that I’ve got experience moving from right guard to left guard. I know that there’s some reps that need to take place to feel completely comfortable with that, but most of these guys have done it at some point in their career. So they’ve at least got experience doing it and that’s just the way it will go for us.”
Williams’ 6-foot-4, 305-pound frame was a factor in the team prioritizing the 6-8, 340-pound Brown, Conway adds, and Dehner notes Collins’ injury issues — which also included a back problem that prevented the ex-Cowboys standout from practicing on Wednesdays last season — and struggles in pass protection led to the Bengals pursuing tackles. Bengals O-line coach Frank Pollack has said the plan is for Collins to compete for the job, and Taylor alluded to former second-round pick Jackson Carman — a converted guard the team moved to tackle to replace Williams during the playoffs — being part of it as well.
Although an early report surfaced indicating Williams was generating interest from several teams, Outkick.com’s Armando Salguero notes no team has proven willing to send the Bengals a high draft choice for their hopeful right tackle. Williams is due $12.6MM on his fifth-year option this season. Teams like the Colts, Jets and Buccaneers would make sense as Williams destinations, but as of now, he is ticketed for what would be an unusual position battle with Collins, whom the Bengals gave a three-year, $21MM deal in 2022, and potentially Carman.
Both Williams and Collins are coming off season-ending knee injuries; Williams suffered a dislocated kneecap and Collins ACL and MCL tears. These maladies played a major role in the Chiefs prevailing in the teams’ AFC championship game rematch despite a gimpy Patrick Mahomes. Brown switching sides in this rivalry may lead to another falling domino, but as of now, no Williams trade is imminent.
23 comments on “Jonah Williams Trade Market Limited; Bengals T Blindsided By Brown Signing”
OMG you guys…can you believe the Bengals didn’t check with their mediocre left tackle before replacing him?! Get outta here with that. No NFL team would have. Unfortunately he’s on a guaranteed 5th year option. Thus, unless someone feels like trading for him..he’ll be moving to RT. Which is most likely where any team who signs him as a free agent next year will be moving him anyway. Or possibly guard. Good guy, just not good enough at LT.
Maybe he should have performed like a star if he wanted star treatment?
If he doesn’t like his chosen profession – let him chose another one
I love the brown signing. Of course I wish he’d play right tackle and we’d cut bate in Collins, but we’re improved with brown at LT.
I think Carmen can be good. He’s shined in spots, but he’s best spot is probably LT so give Collins his job back n have Carmen and ford in reserve, that’s a good back up plan.
It’s Williams or Collins not both. Send him for a 3rd if possible? I think that’s the best hope but maybe u can get a 3rd for 2nd swap. I mean the bets for a 2nd for Moore so anything’s possible.
He’s guaranteed 12.6 million. Elijah Moore is guaranteed 1.7 million. No way the Bengals are getting a 3rd unless they pay some of his salary. Williams has an injury problem too
This guy needs to get a clue.
Blindsided you say? Now you know how Burrow has felt the past couple seasons and why the Bengals made this move.
Let’s all cry for the guy who’s going to make 12.5 million to PLAY game. Is he going to fall on the ground and kick and scream or is he going to shut up, move to RT and contribute to winning a Super Bowl? Bottom line, if you have the second best man at a position and you have the opportunity to get the best player at the same position for a reasonable amount are you going to pass on him because the second best guy might get his feelings hurt? No freaking way. Meanwhile the Bengals have the bottom 10 guy at the position, who lost his double team blocking partner (Perrine) to Denver and he’s mad because the Bengals got one of the top 3 tackles in the game to play HIS position? They aren’t cutting him, just moving him. “Jonah, shut up, play hard and get paid all the way to the Super Bowl,” said Everyone.
Where did you see that Brown is a top-3 tackle? Everything I’ve seen has him in the 15-20 range. That’s still an upgrade but if he’s top 3 there’s no way his agent is having to reach out to teams to generate interest, and no way he he has to settle for that contract, and no way he gets away from KC.
Lmao, Brown is incredibly average.
Yes that’s why he went to the Pro Bowl.
So did Tyler Huntley
Orlando Brown wasn’t a replacement.
Not what you originally said. Brown is an upgrade over Williams but I don’t think he’s viewed as a top 10 LT in the league anymore or he’d signed for significantly more money. Apparently, his agent was contacting teams instead of the other way around
At the end of the day, it is a job. I don’t think that he is “crying” or that any of us should feel sorry for him, but when the team picked up his option, he probably reasonably assumed that he would be playing in Cincinnati. These guys have families, houses, kids in schools, etc. The team can do whatever they want and treat and trade contracts however they want, but a little communication goes a long way, and we would all want that from our employer. Fans telling players to “shut up and play” probably does not help much.
The Bengals didn’t need to communicate that they were signing over him. He communicated that himself by sucking.
Continue to win a Super Bowl? Have they won one before? I think you mean….try to win a Super Bowl
Try reading before commenting. CONTRIBUTE to winning a SB, not continue.
They haven’t won a Super Bowl. Couldn’t he contribute with another team?
Better that Jonah is blindsided than Burrow … just saying
Clearly! But players pay attention to how the team handles contracts and communicates with their teammates.