It’s still not clear exactly what the drivers are for Trent Williams’ missing the week of mandatory mini-camp, but an increasing number of signs appear to be pointing in the direction of his unhappiness with his current contract terms. Williams signed a 5-year, $66 million contract extension in 2015, which made him the highest paid left tackle at the time. In the intervening four years, contracts have gone up - as they always do - and now Trent finds himself sixth on the list of highest paid left tackles, at $13.2M/year, about $3.8M/year less than the top paid tackle, Taylor Lewan, who signed his deal last summer.
Williams still has two years, including 2019, left on his deal, neither of which are guaranteed, and has the Redskins in a very tough spot. While they did some things to shore up the interior offensive line this offseason, they’ve done virtually nothing to improve tackle, presumably thinking they were set, with Williams and Moses healthy to start the season, and Geron Christian and a couple of journeymen competing for depth spots. Without Trent on the roster, the entire offensive line, and anyone behind it, are at risk.
Many - myself included - believe that Trent should honor the contract he signed, and play out the remaining two years on his contract under the terms he agreed to when he signed the deal that made him the top paid offensive lineman in the league. Others believe that Williams should use his leverage against the Redskins, and maximize his value now, before he risks injury or his play continues to decline with age. To those readers, I pose a thought exercise: Ryan Kerrigan has actually been a more reliable top performer at a better compensated position (EDGE rusher) than Trent has been over the past four years. Should he hold out for more as well?
Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, has been a 4 time Pro Bowler for the Redskins, including making it during the past three seasons. His “approximate value” (10) was the highest on the Redskins in 2018 (he was second, behind only Kirk Cousins, in 2017). Meanwhile, Kerrigan is the 20th highest paid player at his position - EDGE rusher - having signed his 5-year $57.5M extension at the same time Trent did. The top paid EDGE rusher, Khalil Mack, makes an astonishing $23.5M/year, $12M/year more than Kerrigan.
During the lifespan of their respective contract extensions, Kerrigan has outproduced (AV 39) Williams (AV 36), playing in every game (64) to Trent’s 49, nearly a full season of additional availability over the course of four years.
Kerrigan may not be a top 5 EDGE rusher in the game, but he’s certainly a top 10 at the position, which would net him an annual salary in the range of $16-17M/year at the current market rates, $4.5-5.5M more than he currently receives.
Is it time to pay Kerrigan and Williams what they are worth now, or should those discussions wait until their contract season?
How should we handle the Williams and Kerrigan contract situations?
This poll is closed
Pay Trent to get him to stop holding out, and hope that doesn’t encourage the behavior in others.
Increase both Trent and Ryan’s contracts to reflect current market value.
Refuse to pay either more than the current value of their contracts until they expire.
Increase the value of Kerrigan’s contract - because he showed up for mandatory practices - but refuse to increase Trent’s contract, because he is holding out.