- The news of the day concerning Trent Williams has gone from bad to worse—or at least that is how it feels...every...day...this...goes...on. One outlet (B/R) was reporting that Trent will never play for the Redskins again because of Bruce Allen. I have heard there is still open speculation about whether Trent would even be cleared medically if he were to report to camp right now. Other rumors suggest Trent wants the entire medical staff fired before he steps foot into camp. If you poke your head into a new room, you are bound to hear a new story. I can tell you that I, Ken Meringolo, have not spoken to Trent Williams or his people in over a year, so I have nothing substantive to add—at this point, the only substantive additions should come from #71 himself. I do sincerely hope that we hear from Trent sooner rather than later, because he could mobilize the entire fanbase around his anti-Bruce Allen cause. More on this below.
- Ironically, Bruce Allen’s untrustworthy presence is my number ONE reason for refusing to lace them up for Dan Snyder and the Redskins. (My refusal to relocate as well as my refusal to place my prized fantasy dynasty team into a blind trust are the reasons I am not playing elsewhere in the league.) If you were a Dan Snyder apologist, you might say that Trent Williams is asking for the Redskins steward to do things that the Redskins steward has no intention of doing because Trent has no intention of playing ball this year. I am not a Dan Snyder apologist and I DO think the Bruce Allen distrust is real. Remember, it was just last year (April 2018) when Bruce Allen was named the LEAST trustworthy decision-maker in the league in a USA Today poll of sports agents (James Dorsett would likely take issue with the small sample size, but still...this is a terrible award to win). This is a key prong to my multi-pronged belief that Bruce Allen must go...but you can only say prong so many times in one sentence before the word ‘prong’ loses all meaning. When the pound-for-pound BEST player on your team doesn’t trust the man in charge, we can motor past the sample size issue (keeping in mind, James, that it isn’t the size of the sample, but rather how you use it).
- Can someone please tell me how many games the Redskins can win without Trent Williams at left tackle but WITH Bruce Allen in the owner’s box? Quick follow-up: how many wins if Trent Williams is active on Sunday but Bruce Allen is taking tickets for hay rides at the local pumpkin patch? One is more than the other, right? That seems like maybe a loaded question. Let’s go at it this way: assuming for a second that the players around the league know how good Trent Williams is, and like/respect him (they vote him into the Pro Bowl every year); how is Bruce Allen going to convince ANY of them to come here and play for him when Trent Williams has made it clear he won’t? Sure, some guys might ignore Trent’s opinion for the big payday, but this isn’t a situation that just goes away and gets better all by itself. For those of us who want to focus on the field right now, trust me when I tell you that a field without a left tackle is a sad place on which to focus.
- If the Redskins were making a mockery of their competition every Sunday in the fall and winter, Dan Snyder could sit back say, “How can I fire Bruce Allen? All we do is win!” Similarly, if our medical staff oversaw one of the healthiest teams in the league each year, Dan Snyder could say, “My player’s health clearly comes first, and our track record dictates that I stand up for my crack medical staff.” This is, uhhhhhhhh...not the world we live in. Bruce Allen has reportedly been routinely dishonest in his dealings with players and their agents. The Washington medical staff has overseen one of the least healthy rosters in the league the last two seasons (over 20 players on IR EACH of the past two years). Players are docked pay for wardrobe violations. Players are cut the SECOND they decline in ability. Bruce Allen keeps getting promoted and I don’t trust the medical staff to correctly dispense cough drops. Which leads me to ask...
- For God’s sake, is Dan Snyder really choosing Bruce Allen and his medical staff over Trent Williams? How in the world is THIS team making THIS stand? I understand that people trot out the “inmates running the asylum” analogy in times like these, but that would be a misinterpretation of the analogy here. Trent Williams is the damn warden! He’s the guy “in charge” and his teammates would back that up. What have the Redskins done in the way of accumulating confidence in the front office and medical tent in recent seasons? What can Dan Snyder honestly point to if and when he decides that he would rather put, gulp, Ereck Flowers at left tackle so he can keep Bruce Allen? Trent Williams could someday garner Hall of Fame discussion. Trent Williams is the best chance the Redskins have to keep their first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins from being murdered mid-game by a blind-side pass rush. If Dan Snyder was having any difficulty severing ties with Bruce Allen, this is the perfect excuse to do it.
- This is why we need to hear from Trent. We have to stop hearing “reports from people close to Trent” and rumors ginned up by just about anyone and everyone around this situation. If Trent is really asking the Redskins to make this choice, he should say it publicly, into a microphone and in front of a camera. To be honest, it would be in his interest to do so—the majority of fans would flock to his banner (we’re already on his side of course). I know I would relish the opportunity to line up next to Trent on this one. (Ricca, since I would be covering Trent’s left flank, you would technically have to say he was moving in to more of a guard position in the Meringolo/Williams tactical formation, no?) I know we are itching to talk football here, but think about it: this is the closest we the fans have gotten in our battle to shake up our incredibly feckless front office. If Trent is really pushing this, he is fighting our fight. He is doing it from a position of strength that we as fans don’t have (because, you know, Dan Snyder has almost never shown any true interest in us as human beings). By the time this gets published, I expect everything we have been told will be changed of course, but as I type this, I am imagining an army of people wearing #71 jerseys taking this team back. I am imagining opening day with the one and only #71 in burgundy and gold. Sure, I am also imagining some poor kid getting ripped off at the pumpkin patch, but in time, Trent Williams will fight that fight too!
The news of the day should come straight off of the field, but unfortunately for us, it is still just off-field.