Redskins to let star tackle Williams seek trade


The Washington Redskins have given seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams permission to seek a trade, multiple sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

“I’m just happy this situation seems to be heading towards an end,” Williams wrote in a text to ESPN.

Williams has been at odds with the organization for most of the past year, citing concerns over how they handled his medical condition. Williams had a cancerous growth removed from his scalp last offseason. Williams said he had lost trust in the organization, specifically former team president Bruce Allen as well as the medical staff. But numerous sources said the Redskins believed — and still believe — that money was at the root of Williams’ displeasure.

The Redskins fired Allen after the season as well as head athletic trainer Larry Hess. But those moves, and conversations with new coach Ron Rivera, did not soften Williams’ contract demands. Williams has one year remaining on his contract, which will pay him $12.5 million. But none of it is guaranteed.

Multiple sources said they believe he would like to become the highest paid tackle, given his resume. That title currently belongs to Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson, who signed a deal in November worth $18 million per year. Houston could extend Laremy Tunsil, which would then push that top number higher. Several sources say Williams wanted more than $20 million.

There have been two trades involving left tackles in the past six months. Tunsil was the key part of a bigger package, netting Miami two first-round picks and a second-rounder. On Thursday, Rivera’s former team, Carolina, traded right guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for tackle Russell Okung, who is the same age as Williams.

Williams made seven consecutive Pro Bowls from 2012-18 but also has dealt with numerous injuries over the years. He hasn’t played a full season since 2013. In 2016, he missed four games because of a suspension — his second — for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

“Trent Williams and I have had our conversations, we’ve talked. And again, that’s a work in progress,” Rivera said at the scouting combine last week. “We’ll see how things unfold, but again, it’s just a fluid situation.”

Multiple sources said Williams had one face-to-face conversation with Rivera that lasted five minutes; one source termed it a “good conversation.” Williams reported to Washington shortly before the trade deadline expired in October. The Redskins failed his physical because they didn’t have a specialized helmet to fit him properly following his surgery. They soon placed him on the non-football/injury list, ending his season without him having played a game.

Houston was among the teams that had interest in Williams last year, until trading for Tunsil. Cleveland also showed interest and still has a need at left tackle and hired Williams’ former line coach in Washington earlier this offseason — Bill Callahan. The former Redskins coach often praised Williams, even after it was clear he would not play last season.

There were multiple reports stating the Redskins received a first-round offer for Williams, though multiple Redskins sources denied that was the case. Williams said he felt the Redskins didn’t aggressively shop him before the deadline, further upsetting him.

Information from John Keim was used in this report.

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