The Washington Redskins believe that there is a strong chance left tackle Trent Williams returns to the team for the 2020 season, Les Carpenter and Mark Maske of the Washington Post cite from a person familiar with the organization’s planning.
Last week, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Trent Williams and Ron Rivera touched base after the two sides previously had no contact. Carpenter and Maske say that their source affirms that getting Williams to rejoin the team is “still a huge focus for Ron”.
The seven-time Pro Bowler held out all of last year due to frustrations over his contract and issues Williams had with the team’s medical staff over a misdiagnosed growth that was improperly treated. Williams 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.
A reunion with the team seemed improbable then. However, with team president Bruce Allen and longtime trainer Larry Hess fired and Ron Rivera now in charge of the organization’s football operations, Williams could be more receptive of a return.
Less than a week into his stint here in Washington, Rivera sought well-respected trainer Ryan Vermillion, hoping that his hire would encourage Williams to return. Over the past couple of weeks, the Redskins have also worked to clear up some cap space, having released Josh Norman, Paul Richardson, and Jordan Reed, the latest to be released.
The 31-year-old has one year left on his contract, which counts for $14.75 million against the cap and puts him in the bottom half of the top ten highest-paid tackles in the NFL. Having cleared up about $61 million in cap space and with the possibility of clearing up on more if the Redskins were to extend Williams, the team would possibly then be able to focus on paying their right guard Brandon Scherff and focus on their other offseason needs: tight end, defensive back, and wide receiver.
If the Redskins and Williams fail to reach an agreement, Washington could trade him, which would save Washington $12.75 million in cap space. Trading him, however, would force Rivera to turn to free-agency, where frankly there aren’t a lot of viable options, or April’s NFL draft.