In a statement to ESPN, Vince Taylor said the relationship had reached a point where the team should trade or release Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowl tackle.
Taylor said, “Despite its knowledge of the irreconcilable differences, Washington was unable (or unwilling) to negotiate a trade of Williams. The team then gave Williams and his representatives the right to seek trading partners. Williams’ representatives provided the team with trading options, but the Redskins have shown no interest in negotiating in good faith, and, in fact, have given inconsistent demands on what it wants in return for a trade.”
Redskins coach Ron Rivera spoke with Williams over the phone earlier this offseason and the two met in person one time for five minutes. Washington gave permission for Williams to seek a trade on March 5. But, a source said, the Redskins have made it clear they won’t give Williams away. They would like to get a second-round pick in return, but also have hinted that they’d be flexible with the compensation. They have also placed more of the burden on Williams to strike a deal with a team before they can proceed. The Redskins have talked to teams about Williams.
But they know if they keep Williams and he leaves after 2020 via free agency, they might end up with a third-round compensatory pick in 2022. Williams would count $12.5 million vs. the salary cap this season, but the Redskins would save $10.5 million if they released him. There have been no indications Washington would do so. And, sources said, they could end up bringing him back if no deal is struck before, or during, the draft.
Williams held out last season, upset over what he said was inadequate medical treatment involving a cancerous growth on his scalp. He asked to be released or traded last June and was upset that the team didn’t aggressively shop him. Multiple sources with the Redskins said at the time — and still maintain — that it was all about wanting a new contract. Regardless, Williams reported moments before the trade deadline on Oct. 29. It allowed him to get credit for a season played, even though the Redskins flunked his physical and eventually placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list.
If the Redskins keep Williams, he can’t hold out for a second consecutive season. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player won’t get credit for an accrued year if he fails to report on time to training camp or leaves the team for more than five days without permission. Also, a player would be fined $40,000 per day and teams would be unable to waive that fine upon return.
The Redskins traded corner Quinton Dunbar on Monday, receiving a fifth-round pick from Seattle. He, too, was seeking a new deal. Dunbar was more vocal on social media about his displeasure. Williams, who turns 32 in July, has not said anything this offseason regarding his status.
In the statement, Taylor said, “Throughout the process, Williams has maintained his silence and not spoken negatively about the team nor has he pursued potential legal actions. This seems to not be a successful strategy. Players who are outwardly critical of the team do get traded.”
There was some hope the relationship with Williams could be repaired after this season. In an 18-minute interview with reporters after returning, Williams let it be known he no longer trusted Bruce Allen, but the Redskins fired Allen after the season. They also got rid of head athletic trainer Larry Hess.
Taylor said, “Although Trent Williams will always love and respect Dan Snyder, his teammates, and the Washington Redskins’ fans, he wants to be traded or released. It’s time for the organization to act in a manner that is in both Williams’ and the team’s best interest.”