A year ago, the Redskins best player surprised everyone by vowing never to play for the team again because of issues that he had with the organization. It seemed as if Trent Williams was done wearing the burgundy and gold but a certain teammate of his now says that recent moves by the team could give them hope for a reunion.
Redskins running back and Williams’ former University of Oklahoma teammate, Adrian Peterson, spoke with the Brian Mitchell show on Thursday and relayed some details of a recent conversation between the two.
“I sent a text out immediately to my guy when I heard about Ron (Rivera) coming here and some of the moves that they had made,” Peterson said soon after new head coach Ron Rivera’s introductory press conference. “I was like ‘Hey, so, does this mean you would come back?’ and he didn’t say no.”
“He didn’t say no and he said ‘Hey, you guys take care of me and pay me, I’ll be back.’ So that’s all I needed to hear.”
Williams has one year left on his contract at a rate that has him in the bottom half of the top ten highest-paid tackles in the NFL.
In addition to frustrations over his contract, Williams had issues with the team’s medical staff over a misdiagnosed growth that was improperly treated. The Pro Bowl tackle told reporters during the season that the growth was cancerous and had been present for six years and was a rare tissue cancer called DSFP.
“I went to go get the cyst extracted, and when they did it, they found out it wasn’t a cyst,” Williams told reporters back in October. “[They] told me it was DSFP. That’s what the cancer is called. It’s a very rare soft tissue cancer. The diagnosis that they gave me in the beginning, they kind of underestimated it.”
Williams went on to voice his displeasure with how the Redskins’ front office handled the situation.
With the recent firings of team president Bruce Allen and head trainer Larry Hess, there is some optimism that Williams could be more receptive to considering a return. Coach Rivera also expressed interest in making a pitch to the 31-year-old Williams.
“Well, that’s something I’m interested to sit down and talk with the powers that be, the folks that are going to get together and discuss that as we go forward,” Rivera told NBC Sports Washington’s, JP Finlay. “I have an idea of how I want to sit down and visit with him.”
The team used veteran Donald Penn to replace Williams on the blind-side in 2018. Penn was more than serviceable and started all 16 games for Washington but left tackle still ranks amongst the team’s top needs this offseason, especially with uncertainty around Williams’ status.
A reunion between the Redskins and Williams would make left tackle less of a dire need for Washington but it would be wise for the team to still draft an heir apparent regardless of what happens. Williams will be 32 next season and has dealt with a multitude of injuries unrelated to the DSFP.