The Redskins placed Trent Williams on the non-football injury list on Thursday, and by Friday, the reason for the move came out when Adam Schefter reported that Washington does not intend to pay Williams this season.
Williams reported to the team just hours before the NFL Trade Deadline on October 29th, ending his months-long holdout after missing eight games. Once he arrived in Ashburn, the team gave him a failed physical because of his inability to put on a helmet. The league gave the Redskins a two-week roster exemption to figure out a plan for Williams, and before that exemption expired, the team placed the seven-time Pro Bowler on the NFI list.
Why the NFI many wondered? Because it gives the Redskins the option to refuse to pay any of Williams' base salary, and now it's clear the organization will exercise that option.
Williams' base salary for 2019 was nearly $11 million, but he gave up 50 percent of that by missing the team's first eight games. When he reported to Washington in late October, he would have been in-line to get game checks for the remainder of the season, even if he landed on the injured reserve list. Washington instead opted for the reserve NFI, making sure Williams' wouldn't play this season and that he won't be paid. That means Williams will lose more than $5 million for the rest of this year.
As it looks now, Williams will get to 2020 in the final year of his contract. Washington could try to fight that too, saying the 2019 season should not count toward his years accrued and claim that Williams still has two years left on his deal. Should that happen, expect a vigorous response from Williams and the NFL Players Association.
The long, protracted battle between Williams and the Redskins is nowhere near its finish. The team still needs to trade the tackle, and that could drag on all the way until the 2020 NFL Draft.
Williams loses even more money, the Redskins still don't have their best offensive player and didn't get any trade compensation for a player that clearly doesn't want to be wearing Burgundy and Gold.
There are no winners here. It's a zero-sum game, and the only results are losses.
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