For Trent Williams, it was Always About the $$

Bryan Manning

For Trent Williams, it was always about the money.

With news coming out this week that the longtime Washington Redskins left tackle is demanding a lucrative long-term deal or a trade, the team is now right back where they were before hiring Ron Rivera.

Therefore, Williams has to go.

Williams, who will be 32 before the season begins, sat out last year as he was angry with the team’s medical staff over a cancerous growth on his scalp. Williams felt former team president Bruce Allen and head trainer Larry Hess were at fault and vowed to never play for the team again.

As we know, it got ugly.

Williams argued the Redskins knew about it for years and did nothing. Meanwhile, Washington’s view of things was much different and wanted to have the NFL and NFLPA review all the medical records. Williams’ side would have none of it.

There were signs of hope when Allen and Hess were fired. Rivera made numerous public comments about how important Williams was to this team and he wanted him back.

Did he? Or was this just posturing to increase Williams’ trade value? (Check video report). 

Rivera is the new sheriff in town and while having a strong reputation as a player’s coach, he is also not going to have situations like the current one with Williams to linger over his team. If Williams doesn’t want to be in Washington, Rivera will make sure he is gone.

On Friday, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington — one of the most plugged-in reporters covering the team — reported Williams had some outrageous salary demands. So outrageous in fact, that Finlay wasn’t going to put the numbers out there, via his podcast and transcribed by Burgundy Blog.

Williams was a terrific player for the nine years he played with the Redskins. However, he has only played 16 games twice in his career and that last occurred in 2013. In each of the next six seasons, Williams missed a total of 16 games due to multiple injuries and a suspension.

At this point, it shouldn’t matter what Williams wants. The Redskins need to move on. While Williams is a popular player in the locker room, a situation like this is never a good one for a coach, regardless of how strong of a reputation that coach has.

Everyone realizes this situation should’ve been handled at some point in 2019. Washington should have sent Williams packing before the season ever began. That draft capital would look even better right now.

They didn’t, so that’s revisionist history.

Now, Washington can move Williams. And, they should.

Many were skeptical last season that this came down to money more than the training staff. Williams entered the 2019 season with no more guaranteed money left on his deal. While you can certainly understand Williams, who has played through a myriad of injuries, wanting more guarantees on his deal, he totally mishandled the situation.

And so did the team.

Rivera can rectify past sins by shipping Williams out and having a new team give Williams the money he wants.

For Williams, he proved this week it was always about the money. No one is doubting the medical scare he went through. It is documented. However, was he leveraging that to get more money and a new contract from the team?

Kevin Sheehan of The Team 980 summed this situation up perfectly.

Williams was a great player for a long period of time for the Redskins. It is nice to see him and Rivera mending some fences because at some point in the future owner Daniel Snyder will induct Williams into the team’s Ring of Fame. An amicable separation can be had now.

When the new league year opens, the Redskins should look to get at least two picks for Williams, preferably a second-round pick and another selection. The chances of getting a first for Williams is gone. 

Editors note: The Redskins can negotiate and agree to  the terms of the trade before free agency & the league year opens and execute it officially just after 4 PM on March 18th. 

While Washington has some good young pieces in place, this team is not a Super Bowl contender yet. Therefore, there is no need to keep an aging, oft-injured left tackle who wants to be the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league.

And Trent can make his demands to his next employer. 

Bryan Manning has covered the NFL, MLB, NBA, college football and college basketball for almost 10 years for various outlets such as Bleacher Report, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today SMG, and others. Bryan has covered the Washington Redskins for different outlets and currently co-hosts a podcast on the Virginia Tech Hokies for SB Nation. For his day job, Bryan works in engineering for a major communications company. 

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