Says the Ringer.com:
Originally, it looked like Williams’s minicamp holdout—which began Tuesday—was over a straightforward contract dispute.
The star tackle signed a five-year, $68 million deal (with $41.3 million guaranteed) before the 2015 season, which made Williams the highest-paid offensive tackle in football. But five tackles now outpace Williams in average annual value, and it’s not a surprise that the soon-to-be-31-year-old would be looking for a raise and some long-term security.
That assessment changed yesterday, when CBSSports.com’s La Canfora reported that it isn’t his contract that Williams is upset about:
The “recent medical situation” La Canfora is referring to is a tumor that Williams had removed from his scalp this offseason. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, doctors thought that the growth could be malignant, but the surgery was performed without issue—The Washington Post said Tuesday that it was benign—and Williams was expected to be back by training camp.
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio echoed La Canfora’s report, saying that “there’s a sense in some league circles that Williams is concerned about more than his contract, and that he has hard feelings against the team regarding the manner in which the tumor/growth on his head was handled.” Redskins beat reporter Lake Lewis Jr. said that the issue may go beyond Williams and be about an overall lack of trust between players and the team’s doctors:
Asked on yesterday about Williams, head coach Jay Gruden said, “I know he’s frustrated … any time you have a procedure done of that magnitude, you want to find a reason which something could have been done differently.” Gruden went on to say the team’s doctors are “very good” and “did the right thing in their mind.”
It’s still not clear what exactly happened between Williams and the team, but this saga appears far from over.
Financial differences can be negotiated over, but a collapse in trust is hard to move past—just ask the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard.