The Redskins brass should be pretty used to cleaning up messes. Fortunately, the man who created the majority of these messes, Bruce Allen, is no longer around. However, he’s very conveniently left a nice mess for the new staff to clean up when it comes to the team’s best player, All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams. Call it a going away present from the former despised team president...basically like walking into Dan Snyder’s office and defecating on his 17th Century Antique Persian area rug.
It’s been reported that new head coach Ron Rivera is intent on mending fences with Williams, and that the two have spoken recently about a return. Since taking over as the key decision maker, Rivera hired well respected trainer Ryan Vermillion to replace Larry Hess, and just this week picked up the 2020 option of Adrian Peterson - one of Williams’ close friends.
These moves, combined with the firing of Bruce Allen, could go a long way towards convincing Trent to return to the Redskins.
But there is still a lot of work to be done.
Williams, who will turn 32 in mid July, hasn’t played in a game since December 30th, 2018. One good thing about this is that his body should have had plenty of time to heal from the rigors a 16-game NFL season puts on a 315 pound man. If he does suit up in 2020, he’ll have gone roughly 20 months between his last NFL regular season game and his next one.
Another looming issue is Trent’s current deal with the Redskins. He’s under contract for the 2020 season at $14.5M, but none of that is guaranteed. If he agrees to return, a contract extension, likely a new three year deal with substantial guarantees for at least 2020 and 2021, would probably be in the cards.
Some fans seem concerned about extending Williams due to his past injury history combined with his age, but we have seen many elite left tackles play well into their mid-to-late 30’s, and I have no doubt with the way Trent takes care of his body, that he can do the same. A legit concern though, is his past suspensions under the league’s substance abuse policy. Under the current CBA, if he’s popped again, he could face serious disciplinary action from the league, but if a new CBA is accepted, a provision in that new labor deal could mean less stringent testing and punishment on marijuana use among players. This could help to alleviate some concerns when negotiating a new deal.
Finally, from a pure contractual standpoint, a contract extension could free up more money this season, which could be put towards an extension for Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff and veteran Ereck Flowers (whose 2019 play at left guard certainly merits an extension).
The bottom line here is that Trent Williams is desperately needed! He’s worth FAR more to the Redskins and second year quarterback Dwayne Haskins than any second round pick the team might get in return for him.
What this man has done for the Redskins over his nine NFL seasons, including his most recent accomplishment of helping get Bruce Allen fired, will certainly merit him going down as of the the greatest to ever wear the Burgundy and Gold.
I hope the team does what they can to rebuild the bridge that Bruce Allen burned, and keep Trent Williams as a Redskin for life!