By Carter Henry
For a clue into the inner workings of the Redskins negotiations with holdout Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams:
J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington offered the latest update on Williams, who has missed voluntary OTAs, mandatory minicamp and two weeks of training camp.
Citing multiple sources, Finlay wrote that Williams has no intention of reporting to Washington anytime soon, and that includes once the preseason starts.
“He’s not coming back. Period,” one source who has spoken to Williams said.
While Finlay reported that there’s a belief within the organization that Williams’ situation is all about money – 2019 is the fourth year of his five-year, $66 million contract – there are other reports that say it’s not.
Last week, longtime Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who is now an NFL Network commentator, said he’s spoken to Williams and that his holdout isn’t about money.
“He’s in a good place mentally, and he’s prepared to figure this thing out,” Hall said. “It’s not a contract thing. And that’s what I asked him – I’m sure he won’t mind me saying this. It’s not about money. Would money help ease things a little bit? Maybe so.
“But this is not strictly a financial situation that we’re discussing, and that’s what makes it so different and unorthodox and something we’ve never seen. We’ve never had a player say, hey – get that training staff out of here or I’m not coming back.”
As Finlay wrote, Washington apparently believes fining Williams will get him to rejoin the team. But Williams, who has played through injury before out of his dedication to the team, is as principled as they come, and sources say even $500,000 in fines won’t get him to change his mind.
Now 31-years-old, Williams would like to be traded and believes he can play for several more years – but not if he stays with Washington and its medical staff.
Washington signed Donald Penn last week; the veteran left tackle said he’d spoken to Williams before signing, but it’s not clear what Williams told Penn about his situation.