The Washington Redskins seemed destined to lose Trent Williams but, with a coaching and front office overhaul, they may be able to keep their left tackle.
Saying that things got ugly this past year for left tackle Trent Williams and the Washington Redskins would be putting it lightly. Citing complete distrust with the organization and team regarding his health and well-being, along with financial concerns, he sat out the entire 2019 season. And it seemed as if he was destined to be traded in the 2020 offseason.
When on the field prior to this past season, however, Williams has been among the best offensive tackles in the NFL. Though the phrase franchise player is thrown around often, he established himself that as one of the elite protectors in the league. But as the Redskins now rebuild with Dwayne Haskins, the assumption was that they’d just try to cash in on some value in a trade and move on.
That may no longer be the course of action. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera has been in communication with Williams in an attempt to try and start mending the relationship between the player and team:
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As mentioned, the two parties talking doesn’t mean anything in itself. But the fact that the conversation was reportedly positive and that the Redskins have overhauled their staff this offseason — namely hiring Rivera and firing Bruce Allen — the situation could be much more appealing to Williams to return to.
With a young quarterback in Haskins and a young running back in Derrius Guice, the Redskins need a strong offensive line to allow those players to succeed and, of course, develop properly. That’s not going to happen if they’re having to rebuild the offensive line from the ground up.
If Williams were to ultimately be traded, that would be the situation Washington would end up in though. Brandon Scherff and Ereck Flowers, who started at the two guard spots this past season, are set to hit free agency in 2020. So needing to replace them while also having to replace Williams would put the Redskins and Haskins in an extremely tough spot.
While replacing two starting guards is not easy, getting Williams back into the fold would ease a ton of worry and give Washington a nice foundation on the O-line. Williams and Morgan Moses at the tackle spots along with Chase Roullier at center is a strong core to add guards around to ultimately succeed.
For as bad as the Redskins were in the 2019 season, the future isn’t necessarily gloomy in the nation’s capital. Haskins showed positive signs, they should add Chase Young in the draft with the No. 2 pick and they have some strong defensive pieces. But if they can bring Williams back onto the field, they are in a far more favorable position than if they were to trade him.