With the latest reports that Trent Williams either wants a re-negotiated contract at the top of the market or to be traded, it’s looking like the Redskins will need to make a tough decision. While it’s possible that something gets worked out, it seems unlikely that the Redskins will meet his contract demands. Giving Williams an extension that averages around $20M a year is tough given, Williams age and injury history. While he’s “worth” the money in a vacuum, given that the Redskins are rebuilding it might not make sense.
If the Redskins decide to trade Trent Williams they won’t find as strong of a market as they would have last summer. In addition to having less control and Williams being a year older, the Redskins are competing with a supremely strong OT draft class. While the compensation might not be as strong, the Redskins should still be able to find a trade partner willing to give them a solid return. Overall I’d expect the return to be in the late 2nd/early 3rd round range. The Redskins would also clear $12.5M in cap space. Here are 5 trades that could make sense:
-The Broncos offensive line has been a complete mess these past few years. Garrett Bolles showed some improvement in his third season as a starter, but still remains an average LT at best. He’s also among the most penalized offensive linemen in the league. Denver could consider using a 1st round pick to fill their RT void, but they also want to add a playmaker for Drew Lock to work with. Trading for Trent Williams and drafting a receiver in the first would be an intriguing option. They could move Bolles to RT, and add a top weapon to a skill group that has Noah Fant and Courtland Sutton. The Broncos currently have three 3rd round picks with the earliest coming at pick 75.
-Now why would the Dolphins trade for a veteran tackle after spending all last season shipping off players for picks? Well if they are going to invest in a QB this year they have to protect him and should use their draft capital to invest heavily in the offensive line. Williams would offer veteran leadership on a young team and help jumpstart that offense under a rookie QB. With the Saints 2nd rounder or their own early 3rd, Miami has two selections that make sense in a potential deal. While it’s possible the Dolphins focus on drafting young players, they should at least entertain the idea of Williams at this price.
-This is a bit of an odd situation as the Seahawks traded for a veteran LT a couple years ago in Duane Brown. Brown is still playing and is pretty solid, but his play has fallen off some. The Seahawks could consider shifting him to RT and trading for Trent Williams to play LT. Seattle’s current RT Germaine Ifedi has been a four year starter, but he’s never matched his first round hype. He was below average this past season and was a big part of the reason why Wilson was sacked 8.5% of his drop backs. The Seahawks own the Chiefs 2nd round pick and I could see them using that to land Williams.
-The Jets have to add weapons and protection if they hope to develop Sam Darnold as a Franchise QB. They could opt to use their 1st round pick on a tackle (similar to the Broncos), it probably makes more sense to trade for Williams and use their first on a receiver. Williams would be a welcome sight in New York as their line struggled a year ago, and has both of their current tackles as impending free agents. The Jets have an extra 3rd rounder from the Giants in the Leonard Williams trade and would send that to the Redskins in this scenario.
-The Chargers are likely to move on from from Russell Okung this offseason, giving them plenty of money and a huge need at left tackle. Whether LA takes a run at Tom Brady or drafts a QB in the first round, adding Trent Williams could help stabilize that offensive line. For Brady to even consider the Chargers you have to believe that some sort of plan to fix the position would need to be in place. Though trading for Williams under a rebuild scenario would seem odd for the Chargers, that team is desperate to establish an identity in that region and could use the star power.
The Redskins shouldn’t expect anything more than the Chargers 3rd in this scenario, but it would give Washington another top 75 pick.