Is Trent's Agent the Problem?
Could Trent Williams agent be the real problem in the standoff between Trent Williams and the Washington Redskins?
Let me be up front. I've never met Vince Taylor, but we've had a cordial relationship for ten years. It's part of doing business and I've covered Williams since he walked in the door.
Most of the time, in my opinion, agents tend to promise the world and a lot of times they can't deliver.
Maybe that's what happened here. Time and time again. Nobody knows for sure, but the nice thing about being independent and not on one side or the other is that I feel like I can take a neutral view.
I believe this is more on Williams and Taylor in this heavyweight battle than on the Redskins and that's factoring in the Bruce Allen part of the debacle.
A couple of reasons why:
1. Williams reported and speculated financial demands are way too much for a player with his level of injuries, age and time on the shelf. It doesn't matter if it's $20 million, $18 million or even $16 million.
We don't even know if he can comfortably wear a helmet and handle the sweat and friction of playing football. Wasn't that a problem the last time we checked?
2. It's clear that Dan Snyder is not going to help Williams get what he wants without a price and he shouldn't. Nobody seems to be paying attention to this factor, which we've written about and mentioned 50 times. I think if Dan was involved or still not miffed at Williams, the pendulum would be more towards the players side. It hasn't and it won't.
They've been begging for Snyder to step in and feel bad. He hasn't. I don't think he will.
3. We've mentioned a complete miscalculation of the market this year by Williams and Taylor. At least four left tackles will be drafted in the first round alone, maybe five. That has hurt both sides from getting what they wanted but Williams much more.
4. After talking to several league sources, I walked away with this: Several long-time NFL people with knowledge of both sides feel that Taylor and Williams hatched a plan to take advantage of Ron Rivera and Kyle Smith.
Their plan, these people feel and it makes sense, was to preach positivity and hope first. I know this as a I was told the same thing. Then, to try and power play a veteran head coach in his first offseason running an entire organization.
Not to mention, someone who they may have viewed as "just a scout" in Kyle Smith, the Redskins de facto general manager. No dice.
They tried to bully and strong arm the Redskins new front office into thinking they had to bend over and take one on the backside. That wasn't happening.
Why? Everyone saw that left tackle was not a huge problem last year with veteran left tackle Donald Penn. Even though he's a free agent now and Geron Christian hasn't developed yet, Smith and Rivera were not going to panic.
Rivera is steely, determined and fair. However, he's not about fluff and catering to today's spoiled athlete who thinks they deserve carte blanche.
Smith is the son of A.J., the former Chargers General Manager and Redskins executive. He won almost 100 games and five division titles in San Diego over ten years.
He stared down Eli Manning and the royal Manning family, didn't blink and while Manning won two Super Bowls in New York, Philip Rivers (acquired in trade by Smith) is a probable hall-of-famer.
The apple didn't fall far from that tree when it comes to Kyle Smith. You did not mess with A.J. and I don't think players and agents should think they can bully Smith and Rivera.
I mentioned this on 106.7 The FAN Friday with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.
My appearance is just a couple of minutes into the audio link and file.
Another spin and a more direct hit was provided by my pal Mike Jones of USA Today. He was also a guest of 106.7 The FAN on Friday with Chad Dukes and said this:
"The real problem is this. Trent does not have a good agent. I've talked to a number of people around the league....Vince Taylor doesn't know what he's doing. He's given Trent bad advice."
That's a uppercut to the jaw.
"From everybody that I've talked to in the league, he's the biggest thing that's holding Trent back."
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Chris Russell is the Publisher of RedskinsReport.com & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.