After months of turmoil, the Trent Williams' saga with the Redskins has come to an end. At the beginning of Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft, it was reported that Washington finally found a suitor for the disgruntled left tackle in the San Francisco 49ers.
In return, the Redskins received a fifth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and a third-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Was that the compensation the Redskins were hoping for all along?
A look back at the timeline shows how the desired return for Williams shifted over time.
When Williams first began his holdout in the summer months of 2019, all the way up to March of 2020, trading the left tackle was not something Washington wanted to do. Though the veteran has consistently made it clear that his relationship with the team was fractured, the Redskins were not set on moving him. Ron Rivera even went as far as to say that Williams was still the Redskins guy when he took over as head coach.
That all changed on March 5 as the Redskins finally agreed to let Williams and his agent seek a trade, believing there was no other option but to get some return for a player who no longer wanted to suit up for them. At that point, the asking price for the Pro Bowl tackle started to become more clear.
It's important to note that the Redskins, like every other team in a similar situation, would have loved a first-round pick in return. Though Williams is more talented and polished than any first-round tackle would be, his age, injury concerns and desire for a new contract made it hard to see a team willing to make an offer of that nature. Therefore, a first-round pick was probably never a true asking price.
What the Redskins did want at first was a second-round selection in return for Williams. But as trade talks continued to stall, Washington remained level-headed. On March 25, it was reported that the only real stipulation in a trade was equal value in return. Whether that came in the form of picks or another player, the Redskins just didn't want to feel shorted.
Still, a reasonable trade didn't appear. As the 2020 NFL Draft approached, reports suggested that the Redskins were looking for Day 2 value in Williams, meaning a second or third-round pick. This stemmed from the belief that the left tackle was better than what could be drafted in the fourth-to-seventh rounds. The Vikings reportedly offered a Day 3 selection for Williams weeks before the Draft, which was a non-starter for Washington.
As the final day of the draft began, Washington was finally able to settle on a deal. The fifth-round selection in 2021 is not the value it wanted, but the third-round pick is close to it. Fans may be sour that a talent like Williams didn't command a more fruitful return. That's understandable, and the Redskins themselves would have loved to have at least a second-round pick in their pocket as they walked away.
However, Williams needed to be traded. In order to move on and really begin a new era of football, the left tackle could not be on the roster. That's finally done, and the Redskins have some compensation to go along with it.
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