The Bengals did not draft an offensive lineman, but the two-time reigning AFC North champions still have a potential three-man race for their right tackle position brewing.
Jonah Williams remains part of that equation, albeit reluctantly. The three-year Cincinnati left tackle starter — forced into a position change after the team’s Orlando Brown Jr. signing — remains with the team, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes no substantive trade talks around the fifth-year blocker transpired during the draft. As a result, Williams is expected to remain with the Bengals in his contract year.
Williams’ trade request surfaced shortly after the Brown signing, and the former first-round pick is believed to have been blindsided (no pun intended) by the Brown addition. The former Alabama blocker did not show for the start of Bengals voluntary workouts and cannot be fined for his absence until the team’s minicamp. With the 2020 CBA making training camp fines steep enough it has largely curtailed holdouts, Williams — assuming he is still on the Bengals’ roster by that point — should be expected to rejoin his teammates.
La’el Collins remains rostered as well, but the longtime Cowboys starter-turned-Bengals signing is coming off December ACL and MCL tears. No firm return timetable is known. Zac Taylor also said (via The Athletic’s Jay Morrison) former second-round pick Jackson Carman, who replaced Williams at left tackle when the latter suffered a dislocated kneecap during the playoffs, will be part of the right tackle competition. Carman struggled at guard, seeing Cordell Volson usurp him quickly, but Taylor including him in the tackle competition points to either Collins or Williams not being in the picture.
Collins’ three-year, $21MM contract runs through 2024, though his injury trouble and issues in pass protection last season led to the Bengals pursuing tackles in free agency. They had not expected to land Brown, but after the two-year Chiefs blindsider’s reps contacted the Bengals, talks progressed quickly. Williams, who has not played right tackle since his freshman year at Alabama, has one season — a fifth-year option, at $12.6MM — remaining on his deal. The Bengals viewed a post-Round 1 tackle addition as one that would only further cloud their already-complicated right tackle mix, Morrison adds (subscription required).
Five teams took first-round tackles, further limiting Williams’ market. The Jets still come to mind as a possible suitor, seeing as they were widely rumored to be eyeing Broderick Jones — before the Steelers moved ahead of them for the Georgia tackle — and have an unsteady setup at left tackle. New York rosters the league’s oldest tackle — in Duane Brown, who is coming off surgery — and has seen knee injuries sideline Mekhi Becton for all but one game since his rookie year. The Buccaneers, who cut Donovan Smith in March, could also be interested. They are not yet certain to move All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs to the left side.
Right tackle-needy teams will likely be monitoring Collins as well. For now, however, Williams and Collins remain on Cincy’s roster ahead of what would be one of this year’s most interesting position battles.
9 comments on “Latest On Bengals, Jonah Williams”
Carmen played well short sample size in the playoffs at LT. He also has gotten in a lot better shape in the off season. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if he wins RT job and outs a stranglehold on it. Collins coming back though would be a big boost. He was playing really well late in 2022.. Two seasons in a row Bengals showed with o-line injuries that you never have enough lineman.
Both Carman and Collins graded poorly in PFF. Collins was good on run blocking, which didn’t show up in the team’s running game but he was one of the worst pass blocking. Carman got so much help from the TE and RB that it’s hard to say he played good. The Bengals have 3 potential RT’s but on paper, all look to be below average
Williams grades that poorly, too?
He was a bad LT, gave up most sacks so I assume he won’t be better at a new position
I thought Cody Ford was also in the mix at right tackle.
I liked Carmen backing up LT. Not sure he can win the RT job but maybe. I think Ford is better at RT but is going to serve as the swing 6th lineman.
I think the Bengals would prefer to get rid of Collins contract for the Burrow extension but he’s untradeable.
Honestly think it comes down to if they get a good offer for Williams and carman is serviceable they go with it. Collins is a wildcard
But if no offer comes in they cut Collins and dare Williams not to play
Newsflash: Jonah isnt getting traded. It’s just not happening. Also, it’s worth mentioning, that he is still rehabbing from knee surgery. Which is why he didn’t fly to Cincy for the voluntary minicamp. LC’s contract was literally built around the fact that he’s dealt with injuries. He has a very reasonable cap hit with big incentives for being healthy and playing. Like many, I’ve been hard on Carman..but the guy has been totally jacked around since being drafted, a round too early. He’s had to learn a new position every season. This guy was a late 2nd rounder but has been given the expectations of a top 10 pick. Some of his issues have certainly been on him. This is a big year for him. Season 3, he’s in great shape and back at tackle. I think he’s going to be at least ok. Which is far better than years 1&2.
Long story short. All of these guys will be on the roster this season. Their salaries have been accounted for. It’s May. Move on. Lol. Frankly I’m not sure how you can have watched the injuries they dealt with in the playoffs and not be absolutely delighted with what they’ve done. Great depth.
The depth problem wasn’t OT, it was and still is OG. KC won in large part because they exploited Scharping. Guess what. He’s still the top OG backup.
Don’t you mean that the Bengals have 4 below average right tackles. I’m waiting for Brown to miss a defensive end and the Burrows get injured. OBJr is a below average left tackle. A good speed rusher will get by Brown and Burrows might get hurt by his mistakes! Glad he’s out of Kansas City now.