The primary and most crucial reason Trent Williams is so furious with the Redskins is because of how they apparently mishandled a growth on his head that, over the years, developed into something that nearly killed him. That's mostly why he feels the way he feels about the organization and it's the only explanation he needs if it's all true, really.
Part of his unhappiness, though, also comes from his contract situation.
An eventual grievance may change this, but as of now, Williams is in the second-to-last year of his deal, and the final year has no guaranteed money in it. Also, since he signed back in 2015, numerous tackles have surpassed him in terms of compensation.
None of that sits well with him.
"I've represented this franchise in the Pro Bowl the last seven years," Williams told reporters in a wild, lengthy session on Thursday, his first time speaking on the record about his holdout and problems with the Redskins. "To me, I would think that would be good for something."
What happened to Alex Smith in 2018 has heavily influenced Williams and made him think about his own future.
The lineman wasn't healthy in the Texans game where Smith broke his leg, but he blocked for him plenty before that turning point and was still present with the Redskins for the next few months as Smith's recovery from it began. Witnessing that awful string of events caused Williams to take a further look at his own financial standing and security.
"We watch No. 11 go out last year and he hasn't been back so you've got to keep that in the back of your mind every time you step out on that field," Williams said. "I have a family to take care of as well, and we haven't had the best history with the way the medical stuff has been handled here and if I go out there and sustain any different type of injury under a contract that's not guaranteed, they can do what they want with me."
Williams' dispute with Washington obviously escalated to dire levels once he felt like they put his life in jeopardy. That said, even if that never happened and the holdout was solely over money, he acknowledged that this all could've played out similarly.
At the time, Smith's injury clearly affected the Redskins' 2018 chances. However, as more time has passed, it appears as if the quarterback position could be in flux for an extended period because of it. And now, it's also become a factor in the Williams debacle.
They say that one play is all it takes to change a game in the NFL. Yet sometimes, one play changes far more than that.
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