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Zac Taylor declines to comment on Jonah Williams’ trade request

Mike Florio and Chris Simms outline what the Bengals must focus on in the draft and explain how an elite TE or RB could be exactly what Cincinnati needs to finally earn its first Super Bowl.

Cincinnati’s offseason program got underway on Monday and there is a significant question about who the club will start at right tackle when the season begins.

With La’el Collins recovering from a torn ACL suffered late in the regular season, he’s unlikely to be in the mix. But after signing Orlando Brown to play left tackle, the Bengals could move Jonah Williams over to play on the opposite side of the line. Head coach Zac Taylor said that was an option last month at the annual league meeting.

But Williams has reportedly requested a trade and, per Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer, was not in attendance for the start of the voluntary offseason program on Monday. When asked about Williams on Monday, Taylor declined to comment.

“I’ll keep all that stuff private, about conversations with my players,” Taylor said, via Conway.

Taylor did, however, talk up 2021 second-round pick Jackson Carman, who is also in the mix to start the season at right tackle.

“Jackson did a really good job working all those positions. His number was called there at left tackle, and now his number’s going to be called at right tackle to go over there and compete,” Taylor said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “Year Three for Jackson, we’ve got high expectations for him.

“I really liked his approach over the course of last season. He really got a feel for what the NFL is like and what the process is like, and now going into year three, I think it’s a great opportunity for him to continue to show us that he’s got what it takes to be a full-time starter for us.”

Carman appeared in all 17 games with six starts as a rookie in 2021 and appeared in three regular-season games last year. But he started two of Cincinnati’s three 2022 postseason games, as the team’s offensive line got hit with multiple injuries late in the year.