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Bruce Allen on Trent Williams' holdout: 'I know what the truth is'

Bruce Allen on Trent Williams' holdout: 'I know what the truth is'

Whatever the real reason is behind Trent Williams holdout, Redskins team president Bruce Allen isn’t surprised by his left tackle's recent absence. 

“I know what Trent told me so I know what the truth is," Allen said Friday. "I’ll leave my conversation with Trent between the two of us.”

Speaking after a ceremony where the Redskins rookie class met DC Mayor Muriel Bowser outside the mayor's office, Allen provided little detail about his conversations with Williams. Asked if getting the seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle back with the team was a top priority, Allen talked about the importance of all 90 Redskins players getting to Richmond for training camp. 

“Trent has been a valuable player for us and that’s why we signed him to the contract he has,” Allen said. 

That contract has two years remaining and will pay Williams more than $13 million this season and more than $14 million next season, but holds no guaranteed salary. However unlikely, the 'Skins could cut Williams next year and incur very little dead cap charge while saving nearly $13 million against the salary cap. Additionally, in the time since Williams signed his contract extension in 2015, salaries have exploded for offensive linemen. The highest paid linemen in the NFL is Oakland's Trent Brown, a right tackle, and he's slated to make more than $16 million this year. There is zero question Williams is a better player than Brown, along with a number of other offensive linemen that have surpassed him in annual salary. 

As if a holdout from their best player wasn’t enough, a report suggested that Williams did not miss mandatory minicamp this week because of his contract. Rather, CBS reported Williams would never return to Washington because of medical treatment surrounding a non-cancerous tumor in his scalp this offseason. 

Asked about the report that Williams would not return to the Redskins, Allen seemed dismissive. 

"I’ve talked to Trent a few times," he said. "He’s explained some things to me and I’ll leave it at that."

Multiple league sources have suggested that while Williams might be upset with the Redskins medical staff, the holdout is related to the financial terms of his contract. One league source pointed to the holdouts of players Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown as successful attempts by veteran players to get large contracts, and as a possible reason there could be more holdouts coming in advance of a new labor agreement between the NFL Players Association and the league's owners in 2021. Last month, the NFLPA informed players and agents to save money now in preparation for a potential work stoppage in two years. 

Other Redskins players seemed surprised by the claim Williams would not return to the team too. Adrian Peterson, Williams’ teammate and close friend, said that he never heard the tackle wouldn’t return to the team.

"I don’t know where that came from. I talk to Trent all the time and that’s not something I’ve heard come out his mouth," Peterson said on Wednesday.

Morgan Moses, another teammate and friend of Williams, said he appreciated the star player speaking out about medical issues.  

"It’s about time someone like that stands up,” Moses said. “It’s not just a situation here. It happens throughout the league. To have one of our peers like Trent to stand up like that means a lot."

Whether or not Williams would actually refuse to play for Washington because of his medical situation remains to be seen, but head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged that Williams was not happy about his initial diagnosis.

"I know he’s frustrated. Anytime you have something done, a procedure like that, of that magnitude, you want to find the reason. You wish something maybe could’ve been done differently or different timing, but our doctors are very good. I know they did the best they can," Gruden said earlier this week. 

Pressed specifically about the team's doctors, and on the heels of multiple surgeries for the same injuries on players Alex Smith, Derrius Guice and Colt McCoy, Allen again provided little information. 

“We’re all frustrated with players getting injured,” he said. “They only see the doctors after players get injured.”


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Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team underperformed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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