The Trent Williams saga has taken multiple twists and turns over the past year, but the standoff between the left tackle and the Redskins is currently at a stalemate.
The left tackle has one year remaining on his contract with the Redskins, but it's nearly impossible to imagine Williams playing another snap for the Burgundy and Gold.
"In Trent's situation, it was bad. There was no way he [can] be a Redskin again," former Redskins QB Joe Theismann told NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson. "The relationship [has] become so toxic, it just [can't] continue in that vein."
The saga began when the left tackle held out from the OTAs last June through the first eight weeks of the 2019 season after he found out Redskins team doctors misdiagnosed a cancerous growth on his brain for nearly six years. Williams reported to Washington minutes before the trade deadline last season and planned to return, but the Redskins placed him on the Non-Football Injury list days later, ending his season without No. 71 playing a snap.
After the 2019 season concluded, the Redskins organization had a massive overhaul. Longtime team president Bruce Allen was fired along with head athletic trainer Larry Hess. While Williams maintained silence throughout his entire holdout, unhappiness and a lack of trust with Allen and the medical staff were rumored to be the two main reasons he stayed away from the team.
But according to Theismann, there was another factor that kept No. 71 away from Redskins Park.
"He didn't like Bruce Allen, basically. He didn't feel like communication was going well with them," Theismann said. "He didn't like the training staff because what had happened regarding a diagnosis with him. Then all of a sudden, those issues were taken care of. Bruce isn't there anymore, the training staff isn't there anymore. Now it's about money."
The Redskins brought in well-respected head coach Ron Rivera, who attempted to convince the left tackle to return to the team. But Theismann believes that Williams, whose contract has around $15 million remaining, wants a new deal that will pay him like a premiere left tackle in the game, which is something Rivera and the new staff are not ready to do.
"He's going to be a 32-year-old tackle and he wants a longer-term contract. He wants money," Theismann said. "He gave away half his salary last year, which was approximately $7 million that you're never going to get back, especially in this environment. So the Redskins basically said, 'Hey Trent, see what you can get. Let's see if we can work a deal out.' Well, no suitors have come to the table."
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Williams was given permission to seek a trade by the Redskins last month, but the left tackles camp has been unable to find a trade partner for what the Redskins deem as fair value for the seven-time Pro Bowler. Last week, Williams' agent ripped to Redskins for "not acting in good faith" and blamed the lack of a trade solely on the Redskins.
The left tackle turns 32 in July and has not played a full season since 2013. The combination of the two makes Theismann believe some teams are hesitant to invest a lot of money in Williams.
"He's not the young guy he was once before. He was one of the best tackles in football," Theismann said. "We were very thankful to have him, and he was compensated accordingly.
"Time is not your friend when you reach certain stages in football," he continued. "Most players, as you get the middle part of the thirties, especially as offensive linemen, you're just not sure you're going to be able to continue doing what you're doing and be compensated in a way that's worth your while."
Just a month before Williams signed a five-year extension with the Redskins back in August of 2015, longtime pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan also signed a multi-year deal with the team. Williams and Kerrigan were back-to-back first-round picks in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and two of the team's best players over the past decade.
Theismann believes if Williams played out the 2019 season the way Kerrigan did, he may have earned himself a new deal with the team. While Kerrigan has yet to earn another extension from Washington, Rivera has stated that the pass rusher is a part of the team's future.
"In Trent's case, I feel like there was just a lot of conversation about him," Theismann said. "It's time for him to move on and the Redskins to move on, and I believe that's where they are right now. With a little bit of luck, he'll catch on somewhere, and I wish him all the luck in the world. But you got to be realistic for the numbers you are asking for at that age."
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