RICHMOND -- Amid rampant rumors and speculation about where Trent Williams will take his next snap, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden did his part to shut down the trade rumors.
"I would seriously doubt that," Gruden responded when asked about the possibility of trading Williams.
What will happen remains a mystery, however, as Williams has not arrived at the team's training camp practices in Richmond and after he missed mandatory minicamp in June and all of the team's offseason workouts.
The reasons for Williams' absence appear to be complex, as there are reports that he doesn't trust the team's medical staff and has had a falling out with team president Bruce Allen. A Redskins spokesperson said that the report of a fractured relationship between Allen and Williams was "100 percent false." Team sources indicate that Williams' holdout is primarily for financial reasons. He has two years remaining on his contract that will pay him nearly $30 million, but little of that cash is guaranteed.
The Redskins signed veteran left tackle Donald Penn last week, and while no player can replace a seven-time Pro Bowler like Williams, Penn is a legitimate starting option. He made the Pro Bowl himself two seasons ago.
There is no real end in sight for the Williams holdout, at least until Labor Day Weekend. It's easy for a player to hold out of training camp and the preseason, but Week 1 of the NFL season is important. To start, that's when the first game check gets cut, and that's how NFL players get paid their salary. Week 1 is even more important than a regular week though because players on the Week 1 roster get their salary vested for the whole season. In other words, play Week 1, you get paid until Week 17. That doesn't happen in Week 2 and so on.
For Williams, the money might not be the only driver, and reportedly the Redskins are trying to hurt his pockets with fines in an attempt to get him back to the team.
Washington would be crazy to trade Williams, the team could never reap dollar for dollar value with a player as good as Trent. That said, if Williams fully commits to not coming back, the Redskins need to consider their options.
It's a tricky situation, and it appears Williams and Allen are the only two that know the solution.
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