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Trent Williams fine with missing regular season and will not play for Redskins, 'period,' per sources

Trent Williams fine with missing regular season and will not play for Redskins, 'period,' per sources

CLEVELAND -- Trent Williams does not intend to suit up for the Washington Redskins anytime soon and that includes regular season games, according to multiple sources close to the situation. 

"He's not coming back. Period," said one source that had spoken directly to Williams. 

Williams missed all of the Redskins offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp before no showing the team's two week training camp in Richmond. Thursday night the Redskins will begin their preseason in Cleveland against the Browns (6:30, NBCSW), and Williams won't be there either. 

Sources explained that the situation is not all about money, rather his contract status along with the series of allegations that the seven-time Pro Bowl tackle has lost faith in the team's front office and medical staff. Still, money might be the only way to fix the holdout. 

A reported plan that Washington could fine Williams enough for missing practices so that he would hurry back and report was "funny." Williams has made nearly $100 million in his career, and the threat of fines that could reach up to perhaps $500,000 are of small consequence to the veteran left tackle, sources explained.

There's also the threat of not being on the Redskins roster before Week 1, which means Williams' 2019 salary will no longer be fully vested. "Not a concern," according to those in the know. 

Word from some inside the Redskins organization suggests that the holdup actually is all about money. How that could be fixed remains to be seen, but those with direct knowledge of the Williams' camp suggest a resolution would require a new deal. It's hard to envision a scenario where the Redskins would do a new deal, as it would set a new precedent for Bruce Allen to rework a contract that has two years remaining. Washington historically only works on extensions in the last year of a contract.

Former Redskins and Texans general manager Charley Casserly said on the Redskins Talk podcast that maybe Washington could move some 2020 money up to 2019, like Atlanta did with the Julio Jones holdout last year. The problem there is now the Falcons are back in an uneasy place with Jones and no new contract worked out. 

"I think it is all about money," Casserly said (see above video). "The only way we'll know the truth to that is to have everybody in a room together. I personally don't buy, in his case because that's the only one I've studied, these allegations that are being made. I just don't buy it at all."

Williams has two years left on a contract that will pay him nearly $25 million. He signed that deal in 2015, which at the time was the richest contract for an NFL offensive lineman. In the years since he's been passed though he still ranks in the Top 10 of linemen salaries. 

Early in training camp the Redskins offensive line looked like a train wreck without Williams. The team was forced to use Ereck Flowers at left tackle, and he showed why New York cut him last season. The plan was for Flowers to play left guard in Washington, ideally next to Williams, but that obviously hasn't worked out. 

In the past week, however, things have started to stabilize. Second-year pro Geron Christian returned from injury, allowing Flowers to move inside to guard. The team also signed veteran left tackle Donald Penn. He has started more than 150 games as a left tackle in the NFL and three times made the Pro Bowl. 

Nobody will replace Williams. Nobody. He's an elite talent. But a healthy competition between Christian and Penn will produce a legitimate NFL starter. 

"What you have with Penn is a veteran that knows how to play the game. What does that mean? It's a guy who knows who he has to play against, what he has to do to block him, uses his hands well and uses his big body well. Can he hold up physically? That's a question. A question too is, the speed guys and the strength guys are going to give him some problems, but he was the best alternate to you to have a backup at this point in time," Casserly explained.

Since being drafted fourth overall in 2010, Williams has been a cornerstone of the Redskins franchise. That said, the 31-year-old hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. 

More importantly for 2019, it doesn't sound like Williams will be playing anytime soon either. 


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Redskins sign former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to boost secondary

Redskins sign former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to boost secondary

The Redskins signed former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to a one-year contract on Sunday.

Darby, a second-round pick by the Bills in 2015 who played college ball at Florida State, grabbed six interceptions in three years playing in Philadelphia but dealt with major injuries throughout his time there, including an ACL tear in 2018. The deal was first reported by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Washington needed to sign another cornerback after trading away disgruntled CB Quinton Dunbar last week.

With the new addition, expect the Redskins to let Kendall Fuller start on one side of the field and Darby and fourth-year pro Fabian Moreau compete for the starting spot on the other side of the defense. Jimmy Moreland projects as the inside slot corner.

The money on this deal won’t break the bank for the Redskins, but with two corners added in free agency and significantly more cash spent on Fuller, the Redskins 2020 secondary is starting to come into shape.

Washington probably feels somewhat comfortable with Fuller, Darby, Moreau and Moreland and will likely draft another corner in April. The team also signed Sean Davis from Pittsburgh with the intention to pair him with stalwart Landon Collins at the two safety spots.

For Redskins fans pushing for a reunion with former draft pick Bashaud Breeland, the Darby signing could end that possibility. Team sources said for weeks that Breeland wasn’t a strong consideration anyway.

Interestingly, Washington has now signed three defensive free agents in the secondary all with local ties. Darby grew up in Oxon Hill and played at Potomac High, Fuller went to Good Counsel High School and Davis grew up in D.C.

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Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': This scene is a prime example of Ron Rivera's integrity

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': This scene is a prime example of Ron Rivera's integrity

Pete Hailey is rewatching Amazon's All Or Nothing, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 Panthers, to learn about Ron Rivera and other key people who are now a part of the Redskins. Here's his review of episode six, "That's How Football Works."

When an NFL team fires a head coach, they almost always try to move on like they're closing an Internet tab; just hit the 'X', get rid of the window and move on.

But when the Panthers parted ways with Ron Rivera last December, it was a totally different process. Rivera held a 30-minute press conference after the news broke. Veterans labeled it the worst day they had ever been a part of in the league. He even came back to the area a few months later to hold a yard sale, which ended up acting as a goodbye event that 3,000 people attended.

Yes, the coach was very successful during his tenure with the Panthers, but that kind of send-off doesn't happen for someone just because of division titles and a Super Bowl appearance. Those kinds of farewells are reserved for the people who are revered for their integrity, character and impact on everything, not just their impact on the field.

And in episode six of Amazon's 2018 edition of All Or Nothing, viewers were shown an example of what separates Rivera from most who share his position in the sport.

The early part of this installment focuses on Devin Funchess' inconsistent season and includes a flashback to an earlier practice where the receiver confronts then-QBs coach Scott Turner for being too slow with his play calling. 

After that incident, Funchess, Rivera and Turner step away to hash things out, at which point Funchess reveals his cousin had been killed the week before and the funeral had just taken place. Funchess apologizes repeatedly for his behavior. Turner then hugs him and does his best to calm him down.

Rivera, though, wants to take more time with the wideout to further talk to him and show his support. So, he brings Funchess to a bench, sits him down and puts his arm around him for an emotional one-on-one.

"I don't know what you're going through, but I can feel for you, all right?" Rivera says. "I appreciate you sharing that with both Scotty and I right now."

"If you ever have situations like that or something like that, you need to talk about stuff like that," he continues. "You know you can always talk to me all right?"

A few seconds and a few more encouraging remarks later, the two stand up, with Funchess returning to action and Rivera walking slowly behind him. Just before the scene ends, the latter sighs and appears to wipe a tear away.

In a show filled with crunching tackles and slow-motion touchdowns laid under triumphant music, this quiet exchange was easily one of its more powerful moments. It also was all one needs to see to understand why so many in Carolina were so affected when Rivera was fired.

So much about being a winner on the sidelines in the NFL is about schemes and creativity and strategy and risk-taking. But relating to players and supporting them and earning their trust is arguably more crucial than any system or depth chart decision ever could be.

Rivera's interaction with Funchess was a strong illustration of that second point. The Redskins aren't just getting an impressive coach; they're getting an impressive person. He's going to look out for his roster in every way, and in turn, that roster will likely do all it can for him.

Links to past reviews:

Episode 1: Rivera doesn't flinch after adversity hits

Episode 2: Rivera shows his feelings on distractions

Episode 3: Special teams truly mean something to Ron

Episode 4: Young Redskins will have a chance in 2020

Episode 5: Rivera goes off, and you'll want to see it