Trent Williams did not take a single snap for the Redskins in 2019, and while the reasons are many, his absence undoubtedly hurt the team on the field.
Could that change in 2020?
New Washington head coach Ron Rivera sounded cautiously optimistic about Williams reuniting with the Redskins during comments made last week in Miami speaking with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation.
"We got to get Trent in, we got to sit him down, see where he is, see how he is, healthwise too. We have not really had the contact we need to have to know," Rivera said. (Catch the full interview Monday at 5:30 and 11 pm on NBC Sports Washington.)
Rivera's comments make sense.
Williams engaged with an ugly battle with the Redskins last year that was quite complicated. As a person, Williams felt let down by the Redskins medical staff after dealing with a cancerous growth on his head. It was a dangerous and scary situation for Williams, and he felt the organization did not have his back medically or personally. As a player, Williams felt personally disrespected by former Redskins team president Bruce Allen.
"At the end of the day, I’m a human being. I ain’t like a dog and you can slap the s--- out of me and I’m going to come back the next morning with my tail wagging. This was a conscious decision; they didn’t burn the bridge by accident. This was something they felt comfortable doing, so I got to feel comfortable with moving on, too," Williams told The Washington Post in December.
The bridge to old Redskins Park burned, without question.
Now things look different.
There have been some optimistic reports about Williams perhaps coming back to the Redskins. He has one year left on his contract that will pay him about $15 million. Williams' current contract, however, has no guaranteed money left. That was another sticking point for the seven-time Pro Bowl tackle.
Rivera and Williams get to start with a clean slate. The new head coach wasn't around for any of the previous medical situations, and furthermore, Rivera has overhauled the Washington medical staff. Bruce Allen is long gone too. It's unclear now if that will be enough for Williams to return, and the logical guess would suggest money will be a part of any potential return.
For now, Redskins fans that want to be optimistic about seeing 71 returning to the field in Burgundy and Gold, consider how Rivera ended his comments on Williams:
"He’s still our guy."
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