No practices. No games. No voluntary workouts. No mandatory workouts. No training camp. Trent Williams hasn't attended a single Redskins team event in 2019. Not one. And still he remains on the team.
NFL Network reported on Saturday morning that while the Redskins have gotten plenty of calls about the seven-time Pro Bowler Williams, Washington team president Bruce Allen has no intention to trade the left tackle.
From @gmfb: The #Redskins aren‘t trading Trent Williams this year, despite #Browns GM John Dorsey’s repeated attempts, but there are indications it could happen after the season. pic.twitter.com/yVCFdlQoCH— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 19, 2019
Browns GM John Dorsey publicly admitted this week that he's been calling the Redskins about possibly trading for Williams but that it "takes two to tango." The implication being Allen isn't taking serious part in trade talks, and that coincides with the NFL Network report.
If Allen is intent on waiting until January to trade Williams, the Redskins boss retains that power. Allen makes trades, unilaterally, and whether or not it should be the case, it remains that case. DeAngelo Hall explained on his podcast last month that he didn't expect Williams to be traded until the offseason either. Hall explained that Allen wanted to trade Williams on his own terms, and that won't happen in season.
There could be strategic advantages to holding on to Williams this year too. If Williams doesn't play, and the Redskins trade him in January, that will leave two years on his contract. If Washington traded him now, he would have only the remainder of this season plus the 2020 season to entice bidders. There also are salary cap rollovers available if Williams doesn't play this year and the team moves on in the offseason.
It also seems kind of crazy not to trade Williams now.
If a team needs a tackle, Williams' value won't be as high in January as it is right now. Period. The trade deadline comes on October 29th, and Williams could likely command a large asking price. Dorsey is openly talking about wanting Williams. He wouldn't do that if he didn't mean that.
Allen has made it clear that moving on from Williams now isn't in the cards, but one source inside the Redskins Park headquarters still said he wouldn't be surprised if something happens before the deadline. But what makes that happen?
The offers might need to change.
Think about things in the context of Allen's approach: If the Redskins are close, then players help more than draft picks. If Washington is going to give up one of their best players, or arguably their best player, then Allen might want a star player back in a trade.
Does that offer exist? Is Allen even interested? Those answers aren't clear.
What is clear, however, is that the Redskins made a shift towards accountability. At least that's what's been said.
The team fired Jay Gruden two weeks and moved to interim head coach Bill Callahan. Much of Callahan's message has been about increasing physicality on the field and responsibility off it. For that message to work, how can the team continue to let the Williams situation linger?
Throughout Williams' holdout, Redskins leadership has dismissed the idea of trading Williams. During training camp the word was Williams would not be traded, at all. In fact, Allen said he expected Williams to rejoin the team before the regular season started. Seven games later, no sign of Williams.
After firing Jay Gruden two weeks ago, Allen held a press conference. Asked about trading Williams, Allen replied, "No, not at this time."
Well, last week for the first time Callahan got asked about trading Williams. It's not Callahan's call to make the trade, but the answer sounded different.
"I think you’re always looking to improve your roster by any means," the interim coach said. "Whether you’re acquiring by trade or acquiring it through free agency or obviously guys off the waiver wire, we’re always looking."
Callahan says the Redskins are always looking to improve. That means the question is what justifies improvement to Allen.
Maybe it's not picks. Maybe it's players. The deadline comes in about nine days. Questions will be answered.
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