Walk around FedEx Field and there will be dozens of 71 jerseys in the crowd. For most of his 10-year career, Trent Williams was a fan favorite.
He played hard, gutted through injuries and always took time to sign autographs and take pictures in the heat of Richmond summers.
And on Tuesday, he remained in a weird standstill with the Redskins. The team failed to trade him after Williams held out the first half of the 2019 season.
How on earth did things get here?
Williams hadn’t talked to the team since the holdout began - until he reportedly walked in the door as soon as the trade deadline was up on Tuesday - but plenty of reports have come out that at least partially explain the story. A medical situation late last season scared Williams, significantly, and he became upset with the Redskins medical staff because of the care he received.
From there, reports came during training camp that Williams’ relationship with Redskins team president had “fractured.” A Redskins spokesperson said that the report was “100 percent false” but as time went on, it became very clear Williams wasn’t returning for the start of the season.
Then it was revealed the Redskins intended to fine Williams the maximum amount allowable for missing practices and mandatory team events. That didn’t budge the big man either.
Allen fired Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start, and at that point the Redskins boss again said the team wasn’t interested in trading Williams. Then, a report came out that Williams might return at some point this year but might not play, a tricky maneuver that would significantly hurt his trade value.
Shouldn’t that have been enough to change the Redskins mind? Maybe. Or maybe Allen’s plan was to delay the end of Williams’ time in Washington as long as possible to maximize the return.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter. He may have walked in the door. But that doesn't mean things are fine.
The relationship between Williams and the Redskins is broken. And for the rest of the season, his contract at least – and the mess of the situation – is still in Washington.
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