Hollywood makes plenty of movies about football, but they almost always center them around the quarterback. Left tackles don't often get movies, but if one ever gets made, it should be about the Trent Williams saga.
Williams sat out the entire 2019 season instead of playing for the Redskins, losing more than $12 million in the process, before finally getting traded on Saturday to the San Francisco 49ers. An elite talent at one of the most important positions on the football field, Williams netted Washington just a third and fifth-round pick in return. And the third rounder is of no use for 2020.
New Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith tried to explain when speaking to reporters on Saturday night.
"Trent Williams is a first-round value, that's what he is. That's what the tape tells you. That's what everybody knows," Smith. "His circumstance and everything that has gone into this for two years or whatever it's been, that's what's devalued him."
Smith told no lies.
One of the best tackles in football, Williams' holdout and the clumsy handling of his departure from Washington all contributed to the relatively low value the Redskins got in the trade. It also doesn't help that Williams will be 32 when the season starts, has only one year remaining on his current contract and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013.
To be crystal clear: Williams is an elite talent.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, this situation was anything but crystal clear.
Williams sat out the 2019 season because he didn't trust management and didn't trust the Washington medical staff. Well, management and the medical staff got fired. Still, Williams wanted out, and his agent Vincent Taylor even proceeded to publicly question if the Redskins were acting in good faith to trade him.
Ron Rivera is the new boss of the Redskins. Ask around the NFL and Rivera is a high-character man. The safe guess is Taylor's accusation didn't sit well.
So the Redskins made their move, traded Williams for the best offer they could, and seem very ready to move forward.
"For the Washington Redskins, what we got with a fifth and a third, we're happy with what we got," Smith said. "And it's time to move on and we're ready to move forward."
In fact, for many Redskins fans, it seemed the Williams saga went from unfortunate to distraction, and then, to a downright annoyance.
"I can't wait, personally, to stop talking about it, " Smith said. "I can't wait to stop hearing about it and I've been here for a while."
The compensation is what it is, but for most people involved, there is real relief that it's over.
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