The Washington Redskins provided tangible cover for their front office on Tuesday as the trade deadline approached. They had finally stopped stonewalling inquiring teams who were looking into getting left tackle Trent Williams off their hands. Williams, holding out and not reporting to the team since the summer, missed the first 8 games of the season, telling every and anyone he was not going to report to the team.
He held fast, demanding to be traded. Teams checked in all season, Washington told them he wasn't available. Then, finally, he was, and the market they tried to create had dried out. There are reports Washington demanded far too much compensation from the Cleveland Browns, who desperately need a left tackle as Greg Robinson's time has been eventful in all the wrong ways. But at the end of the day, there was no deal.
Washington will have Williams on their roster through the remainder of the season as he ended his holdout and reported to the team.
Only, he didn't actually report in person, at least not to the team's first practice of Week 9.
The Redskins have been granted a roster exemption for Williams, allowing him to be with the team but not require room on the 53-man roster. That will last for two weeks.
By reporting when he did, Williams ensures that 2019 will count as an accrued season towards free agency. If he hadn't, his contract would have tolled into the future. 2019's agreement would move to 2020, 2020's agreement would move to 2021. He's now avoided that.
By not trading Williams, the Redskins risk losing trade value. If he had gone now, the acquiring team would be getting him for the remaining eight games, plus playoffs, plus another year of team control. Now all they can do is acquire him after January for the 2020 season, making him far less valuable and when that first-round pick Washington seeks could be spent on a 21, 22-year old rookie tackle at rookie contract rates.