Trent Williams

Trent Williams Discusses NFI, Future

Earlier this month, the Redskins placed offensive lineman Trent Williams on the NFI list, ending his season. This set off a chain of events: Williams blasted the team and said there was no hope of reconciliation, and we later learned that Washington wouldn’t be paying the left tackle any of his 2019 salary.

This obviously isn’t the end of the story. The organization’s decision to place Williams on the NFI and withhold his money will likely have repercussions. Williams previously declined to say whether he’d be filing a grievance through the NFLPA to recoup some of his money, but he also didn’t sound confident about his chances. The veteran’s argument would revolve around the fact that he ended his holdout and reported to the team, but he was unable to wear his helmet because of pain stemming from surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his head. As our own Andrew Ortenberg pointed out, Williams could argue that since Washington’s medical staff failed to advise him to remove the growth on his head earlier, they are at fault.

Regardless, Williams won’t see the field again this season, and in an interview with Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic, the lineman discussed how he’s spending his free time as a boxing manager. While the entire interview into Williams’ passion for boxing is worth a read, we’ve highlighted some of his NFL-related soundbites below.

On owner Dan Snyder’s role regarding Williams’ placement on the NFI list:

“Obviously, no matter what I said or how I felt about him, just speaking out against the organization and kind of putting people on notice about how things are going around there. I don’t think he was particularly happy with that, which led to them putting me on the NFI list prematurely and choosing not to pay me. Of course, he had a leg in that. It is what it is, at this point, it’s over with. I’ll never be a Redskin again, so I don’t have to worry about it.”

On his current focus and his plans for the 2020 season:

“Uh, yeah, pretty much just seeing where I’m going to be at, getting a fresh start, and being able to lace my cleats up and get back on the football field. That’s just what I look forward to. A nice little break, it’s what my body needed, but in my mind, I’m ready to get back.”

On if he has any preferences regarding a new team:

“Haha, nah, cause you know, I’ve got a lot of former coaches around the league that I was very close to in other organizations now. I feel like I can plug and play into another system. But no, I haven’t even, after the Super Bowl you’ll kinda know who needs what and where possible destinations are.”

On his teammates’ reactions to his holdout, public comments about the organization, and placement on the NFI list:

“My teammates have been awesome. Honestly, sometimes I forget what situation I was in just being around those guys in the locker room. They didn’t treat me any different, and everybody was really happy to see me. Actually, coming in was a joy in that sense, because the reception I got was really overwhelming. I was kind of taken aback. I knew they had my back, you know, but it’s different to kind of know it and it’s different to feel it. There, I could feel it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Trent Williams, Redskins

The Trent Williams story continues to get more complex by the hour, and we’ve got another batch of updates ready for you. Yesterday the Redskins placed Williams on the NFI list, ending his 2019 season. Early this morning Williams blasted the team and said there was no hope of reconciliation, and then just a few hours ago we heard Washington had decided not to pay the left tackle any of his salary for 2019.

Williams spoke with Dan Graziano of ESPN.com earlier today, and said that he underwent three surgeries this offseason but felt “football-ready” by Week 2 (Twitter link). Williams again confirmed to Graziano that he wants to play next season, saying “It’s what I do. I want to continue my Pro Bowl streak. I want to win a Super Bowl. I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to accomplish. I hate that I got derailed, but I’m blessed and I’m back. Looking for that helmet that can fit” (Twitter link).

When Williams ended his holdout and reported to the team, he said he couldn’t wear his helmet because of pain from the surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his head. Finally, Graziano tweeted that Williams didn’t sound too confident about winning a grievance to get some money back. Williams declined to say whether he’d be filing a grievance through the NFLPA but said “shoot, that’s their discretion. Non-football Illness, you know, it’s cancer, you can’t say it’s related to football. So I don’t know how much argument we have.”

However, Williams might have a case to make. He could argue that since Washington’s medical staff failed to advise him to remove the growth on his head earlier, they are at fault. And it’s possible the “failure to address the issue sooner makes the end result — Williams’ current inability to wear a helmet — a football injury and not a non-football injury,” writes Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. That being said, Florio writes that one source told him it will still be an “uphill battle” for Williams to get his current situation classified as a football injury.

Williams says team doctors repeatedly told him the growth on his head was just a harmless cyst over the years, which obviously turned out not to be true. That sounds like it could be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit, as Florio writes in a separate article. Florio also argues that it would “make sense for the team to offer to terminate his contract in exchange for a full and complete waiver and release of any and all claims,” since Williams has made it clear that he just wants to be released from his contract.

That could be the most sensible option for both sides, as Williams has made it clear he doesn’t want to go through a whole investigation, one that he says the Redskins would use to smear him. This saga is far from over, and it looks like things could get ugly as Washington has made it clear they don’t plan on budging anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Refuse To Pay Trent Williams

The Redskins have elected to not pay Trent Williams the remainder of his $5.1MM base salary for the 2019 season, league sources tell Field Yates and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Per league rules, teams have the right to not pay players who are on the non-football injury list and the Redskins are exercising that right. 

Williams was placed on NFI on Thursday. On Friday morning, he lashed out at the Redskins yet again and made it known that he does not intend to play for them ever again. The offensive tackle remains under contract through the 2020 season, but it’s hard to envision a reconciliation for the two sides.

The Redskins had the opportunity to move Williams before the late October trade deadline, but they held on to him instead. The Redskins may explore trades again in the offseason, but at that stage, they won’t have much in the way of leverage. Many have questioned the Redskins’ handling of the Williams’ situation on the whole, as well as their refusal to cut ties with him this year.

Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has missed 13 games over the last three seasons due to various injuries. He graded out as the league’s best overall tackle in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus, and still managed to place No. 21 in a relatively down 2018.

Despite the health issues, including a recent cancer scare, Williams says he wants to continue playing football. Just not in D.C.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Redskins’ Trent Williams

Left tackle Trent Williams says there is no hope for reconciliation between him and the Redskins. In an interview with Mike Jones of USA Today, the veteran accused the team of showing no real compassion for his medical situation or wellbeing. 

I feel like everything has run its course,” Williams said. “I mean, I do want to play football still and I’m not a free agent until after the 2020 season, so who knows. But the bridge has definitely been burned, and any efforts now, basically are, in my opinion, pretty much just CYA.”

According to Williams, this is nothing new, nor is it exclusive to just him.

Mine isn’t the only situation they got wrong. There are a lot of situations they could have looked into. Why didn’t they do it before now? Why didn’t they do it in Colt McCoy’s case? And they keep putting out these false reports. That’s never helpful. I just feel like regardless of what the findings of the investigation are, they’re going to try to find a way to paint me negatively and make themselves look better.”

Williams’ season is now over, after the Redskins placed him on the NFI list. He wants to resume playing, once he’s healthy, but not in Washington.

Despite his frustrations, Williams did confirm that he approached the Redskins about a contract extension before the start of the season. However, with two years remaining on his contract, he was rebuffed.

I knew I was coming up on a year with no guaranteed money, and I wanted to open the conversation about them making me a Redskin for the rest of my career,” Williams said. “I understand that either a team wants the player and will extend him, or they’ll send him somewhere so they can get some value for him. I told Bruce, ‘I understand that we’re in a rebuild and if you don’t want to dump any more money in the O-line, I’d like to go somewhere that I’m wanted.’ I still felt like I’ve got 5-6 more healthy years left of quality football.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Place Trent Williams On NFI List

The Redskins have placed offensive tackle Trent Williams on the non-football injury list, the club announced today. Now that he’s on NFI, Williams is out for the rest of the season.

Williams reported to Washington in late October following a season-long holdout, but he couldn’t pass his physical after reporting pain while wearing his helmet. The Redskins were reportedly attempting to find Williams a more comfortable helmet, but were apparently unable to do so.

Of course, Williams’ issues with his helmet involves a serious backstory. Williams underwent surgery during the offseason to remove a growth from his head that turned out to be cancerous. The 31-year-old first noticed the growth in 2013, but he says Redskins doctors told him the issue was not severe. However, he’s since been diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP), a “soft tissue sarcoma that develops in the deep layers of the skin.”

Williams’ contract is not expected to toll as a result of his being placed on NFI, meaning he’ll be under contract for one more season at a base salary of $12.5MM. The Redskins failed to trade Williams in advance of last month’s deadline, but could reportedly consider moving him in a deal this offseason.

Players on the NFI list aren’t technically required to be paid by their clubs. If Washington opts not to pay Williams, the veteran tackle would likely file a grievance against the team, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com, opening an entirely new battle between the Redskins and their offensive line stalwart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFLPA Won’t Pursue Trent Williams Review

The Redskins recently requested a joint review of left tackle Trent Williams‘ medical records, but that won’t be happening. At Williams’ request, the NFLPA will not cooperate with an investigation into Williams’ health, as players union chief DeMaurice Smith told Junks Radio (Twitter link via Craig Hoffman of 106.7 The Fan).

“Our union will continue to support Trent,” Smith said in a statement. “Although he has asked us to not pursue a formal review of his treatment, we will consider all legal action if the affirmative disinformation campaign and the leaking of his private medical records does not stop. Doctors have an ethical obligation to treat our men as patients first regardless of where their check comes from. It is our job to ensure that they honor that duty and if we find that the have not, we must then hold the physician accountable to the CB and their medical licensing authority.”

Williams first noticed the growth in 2013, but he says Redskins doctors told him the issue was not severe. However, he’s since been diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP), a “soft tissue sarcoma that develops in the deep layers of the skin.” This offseason, the Redskins sent Williams to a hospital where the condition was finally recognized, and he had an operation during the winter to remove the growth.

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Williams doesn’t have much of an incentive to agree to a joint review of his medical records. Even if the Redskins were found to be at fault, Washington would likely be only be fined for its actions. Additionally, once Williams’ medical information is disclosed, there is a chance his records could be leaked.

Williams, of course, recently reported to the Redskins after sitting out most of the season. He didn’t pass his physical after reporting pain due to his helmet, and Washington is now searching for a more comfortable helmet. If the club can’t provide Williams with suitable head gear, he may be placed on the non-football injury list, ending his 2019 season before it begins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFLPA Issues Statement On Trent Williams

The NFL Players Association has issued the following statement on Redskins left tackle Trent Williams (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk):

“In our multiple conversations with Trent and his agent, we have considered various options based on the facts, but we also understand that Trent wants to put this all behind him, not relive a painful experience when his life was in danger and move on with his career. We are also aware of misinformation being repeated on the NFL’s own network that is not sourced and is only designed to tarnish Trent’s reputation. Our union supports Trent, is protecting his rights and continues to consider potential action if a campaign against him continues.”

Of course, this is in reference to the growth on Williams’ head that turned out to be cancerous. As Florio notes, the “misinformation” that the union referred to in its statement is the report that Charley Casserly delivered on the NFL Network on Friday, when he said that the team told Williams to have the growth biopsied three years ago, but Williams failed to do so. Although the NFLPA is upset that the league’s own network is relaying this allegedly inaccurate info, this is not the first time we have heard it. ESPN had a similar report (derived from team sources) back in July.

Nonetheless, it is coming to light again because Williams recently reported to the team to avoid having his contract toll. He failed his physical because putting on his helmet caused him pain as a result of the surgery to remove the growth, and the Redskins now have roughly two weeks to find a Williams a helmet that doesn’t hurt him. If they can’t, they may end up putting him on the non-football injury list for the remainder of the season.

The team has requested a third-party review of Williams’ medical records in order to prove it did not act inappropriately with respect to Williams, and the league and the union are launching a joint investigation into Williams’ claims to the contrary. Florio believes it will be difficult for Washington to escape blame, because even if it did tell Williams to have the growth examined, it should have pressed the issue, especially if the growth continued to expand. Florio says, “[a]bsent clear documentation that Williams was acting against clear and unmistakable medical advice, the mere fact that someone flagged the growth for further examination three years ago but that it was not biopsied for an extended period of time points to clear negligence.” 

In any event, the relationship between player and team seems beyond repair. Assuming that Williams is able to comfortably wear a helmet at some point in the near future, the Redskins could explore trading him this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Williams, Gettleman, Hill

The NFL and NFLPA will conduct a joint investigation into claims made by Washington’s LT Trent Williams, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Williams has been one of the best left tackles in football since entering the league in 2010. After solidifying the blindside in Washington for nearly a decade, Williams had been holding out for all of the 2019 season.

The team refused to move Williams before the trade deadline, but the tackle finally reported to the team on Tuesday. However, he has since failed his physical and publicly accused the team of failing to recognize the severity of a cancerous growth on his head this past summer. The team has since denied Williams’ claims of wrongdoing and called for a third-party evaluation. According to Rapoport, the collective bargaining agreement calls for a joint investigation amidst such accusations.

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • Giants general manager Dave Gettleman needs to answer for his trade deadline decisions, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. Since the second day of training camp in late July, Gettleman has not answered questions from any reporters. Even more concerning, a Giants spokesperson said he is not currently scheduled to address the media again this season, per Slater. Currently at 2-6, many were surprised to see the team give up draft assets for impending free agent Leonard Williams. Moreover, the team recouped no draft capital for any of their veteran players. Slater maintains it is “part of the job” for Gettleman to take questions from the media regardless of how popular his decisions are.
  • Cowboys rookie second-round pick Trysten Hill has become a problem, according to Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News. Per Watkins report, the defensive tackle has recently been sent home after arriving late to practice and fell asleep in the middle of a speech by Hall of Fame basketball player Isiah Thomas. Dallas has not been publicly critical of Hill, but Watkins notes that even after losing starting defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford for the season, Hill remains outside the rotation.

Redskins Request Review Of Trent Williams’ Medical Records

The Trent Williams saga has taken another turn. Earlier today, Williams told Les Carpenter of the Washington Post that the growth on his head had turned out to be a cancerous tumor, and blamed the Redskins for not recognizing the seriousness of the issue sooner. Now, Washington has issued a press release indicating it wants a third-party review of Williams’ medical records, ostensibly to remove any blame placed on the Redskins.

“The Washington Redskins have requested that the NFL’s Management Council convene a joint committee with the NFLPA to review the medical records and the medical are given to Trent Williams. We have requested this review under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that provides for an independent third-party review of any NFL player’s medical care. The Redskins continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our players and staff.”

Williams first noticed the growth in 2013, but he says Redskins doctors told him the issue was not severe. However, he’s since been diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP), a “soft tissue sarcoma that develops in the deep layers of the skin.” This offseason, the Redskins sent Williams to a hospital where the condition was finally recognized, and he had an operation during the winter to remove the growth.

The most pressing issue here is clearly Williams’ long-term health, but it’s difficult to avoid how Williams’ latest revelation — and the Redskins’ response — will further fracture the relationship between team and player. Washington failed to trade Williams before Tuesday’s deadline, and the veteran offensive tackle subsequently reported to the club. However, he failed his physical after his helmet gave him discomfort. If the Redskins can’t find Williams a helmet in the next two weeks, he’s likely to be placed on the non-football injury list, ending his season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Redskins’ Trent Williams

The Redskins informed Trent Williams‘ agent that the left tackle passed all parts of his physical, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. However, Williams said that he was in pain (due to his surgery) after trying to put on his helmet, which the Redskins are considering as part of the physical.

The Redskins are now on the clock with two weeks to find a helmet that doesn’t hurt Williams. If they can’t find a helmet that doesn’t cause pain by the time his roster exemption expires, and he refuses to play, the team will be forced to put him on the NFI (non-football injury) list, at which point they can decide whether or not to continue paying him. In either case, as Rapoport reports, his contract will not toll, meaning that he won’t be tethered to the Redskins beyond the 2020 season.

The Redskins did not move Williams before the 2019 deadline, but there are rumblings that they’ll try to trade him this offseason. Despite the Redskins’ lack of leverage in that scenario, Williams could still fetch a decent amount of draft capital: he’s among the better tackles in the game and he’ll have just one year left on his deal at $12.5MM.

Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has missed 13 games over the last three seasons due to various injuries. He graded out as the league’s best overall tackle in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus, and still managed to place No. 21 in a relatively down 2018.