The agent for aggrieved Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams escalated his client’s demands to be traded or released Tuesday in a statement sent to reporters.
“Despite its irreconcilable differences, Washington was unable (or unwilling) to negotiate a trade of Williams,” agent Vince Taylor said in a statement. “The team then gave Williams and his representatives the right to seek trading partners. Williams’ representatives provided the team with trading options, but the Redskins have shown no interest in negotiating in good faith, and, in fact, have given inconsistent demands on what it wants in return for a trade.”
Williams requested to be traded last summer, and he later said it was because his relationship with then-team president Bruce Allen fractured and because he lost faith in the Redskins during what he called a botched medical diagnosis of a cancerous tumor on his head. Williams held out most of last season, returned in late October after the team failed to deal him at the trade deadline and then, after experiencing discomfort putting on his helmet during a medical exam, was placed on the non-football injury list.
On March 5, the Redskins gave Williams permission to talk to other teams, with the thought that Williams and Taylor could find a team willing to give him a contract extension and ultimately work out a trade with Washington. When asked by The Post in a text message that day if he was done with the Redskins, Williams replied: “Yeah pretty much.”
A person with knowledge of the situation said Washington has been trying to trade Williams but hasn’t been able to get an offer good enough to warrant trading away a seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle.
One potential complicating factor is that Williams, who has one year left on a contract that will pay him $14.5 million this season, has been seeking a contract extension from any team that trades for him, possibly in the range of $19 million per year. Any team that would trade for Williams would presumably want to sign him to a long-term contract before trading away a significant asset for him.
Another complication for Williams is a clause in the new collective bargaining agreement that will not allow veteran players to get credit for a season if they fail to report to training camp. This means Williams cannot hold out for a second straight summer if he hopes to hit the open market as a free agent next offseason.
Taylor’s statement came one day after the Redskins traded another disgruntled player, cornerback Quinton Dunbar. On Monday afternoon, Washington dealt Dunbar, who was demanding a trade or release, to the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth-round pick. While the return seemed light for a player who is considered one of the league’s better cornerbacks and could be seen as new Redskins coach Ron Rivera dumping an unhappy player in hopes of building locker-room culture, Dunbar is not as accomplished as Williams and has missed large parts of the previous two seasons with injuries. Also, Seattle was willing to take a shot on Dunbar despite Dunbar’s threat to hold out unless he gets a contract extension.
Williams will require a much larger investment from a team than the $4.4 million Dunbar is owed this season. Still, Taylor’s statement expresses frustration that Williams and his team has remained largely silent, which contrasts with the fact that Dunbar was traded after complaining on social media.
In an interview last November, Williams detailed his dispute with Allen and said it was unlikely he could return to the Redskins.
“At the end of the day I’m a human being, I ain’t like a dog and you can slap s- — out of me and I’m going to come back the next morning with my tail wagging,” he said then. “This was a conscious decision, they didn’t burn the bridge by accident. This was something they felt comfortable doing so I got to feel comfortable with moving on, too.”
Barely more than a month later, Allen was fired and Rivera hired as coach. Rivera made several attempts to convince Williams to come back, and the two even met face-to-face at the team’s headquarters. But so far, the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement to keep Williams with the Redskins, and on Tuesday, Williams’ side escalated its efforts to find him a new team.