The Redskins traded Trent Williams to the 49ers during the draft for a pair of picks - a 2021 third-rounder and a 2020 fifth-rounder. Considering how broken the relationship between Williams and the Redskins had gotten, the compensation was the best new head coach Ron Rivera could get.
But that doesn't change how much more Williams could have landed in a trade last year when Williams first began his hold out.
"There was an opportunity, from what I was told, that last year just before the trade deadline he was worth a first-round pick. But, for whatever reason, the deal was never done," Rivera said Wednesday on The Kevin Sheehan Show.
That stings for Redskins fans.
It's been widely reported, including by NBC Sports Washington, that there were numerous suitors for Williams last season and that a first-round pick was available as compensation. The Redskins, then run by former team president Bruce Allen, refuted the reports and said there would be no trade of Williams.
As Williams' holdout continued, former Browns general manager John Dorsey even publicly said he wanted to trade for the seven-time Pro Bowl tackle but that Allen wouldn't engage in trade talks.
"Because he didn’t play for the year somehow that number changed," Rivera said of Williams' trade value after the 2019 trade deadline expired.
Rivera is being gracious in his commentary.
Williams' value plummeted because he went from having two years left on his contract to only one, not to mention being a year older and allowing interested teams to draft left tackles instead of needing one in the middle of the 2019 season for a playoff push. Allen did the Redskins a disservice by not trading Williams last year, and there was zero benefit for any party. That is widely known now and doesn't need to be re-litigated.
As for 2020, Rivera seemed comfortable in the compensation from the Niners.
"We weren’t going to give him away in a yard sale," the coach said. "We held out for the right deal."
Who will start in Williams's spot? Rivera said the team is still considering free agent tackles.
"There’s still a couple guys out there that we’ve talked about," he said, interestingly, though the coach sounded most excited about fourth-round draft pick Saahdiq Charles out of LSU.
Rivera said the Redskins "feel very fortunate" to get the left tackle at that spot and he has a big potential.
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