With a gaping hole at left tackle and the team desperate to provide quarterback Baker Mayfield with some much-needed protection up front, then general manager John Dorsey was on a mission to pry the seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle away from Washington.
But Dorsey wasn’t willing to meet Washington’s asking price, reportedly a first-round draft pick, and so the trade deadline passed quietly.
This offseason, Williams, who is officially available on the trade market, most likely will end up with a team not named the Browns for a multitude of reasons.
First, Dorsey is no longer in charge of the Browns and if he wasn’t willing to meet Washington’s asking price then, the odds that new EVP of football operations and GM Andrew Berry will are slim to none.
Second, Williams reportedly is seeking a mega deal in the $18-20 million per year range, a price the Browns aren’t likely to meet, not with much younger and cheaper options available in the upcoming draft.
Third, with a front office led by chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and Berry returning to an analytical thinking and decision-making process, giving up draft assets in addition to making him the highest paid player on the team simply does not compute in the new team-building, asset-management model.
Fourth, Williams hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2013. He played 15 games in 2014, 14 games in 2015, 12 in 2016, 10 in 2017 and 13 games in 2018 before sitting the entirety of the 2019 season. Williams ended a five-month holdout mid-season due to a medical conflict with Washington, but he did not see the field. Williams blamed the club for not recognizing he had a growth, which he noticed back in 2013 and was getting bigger each year, that was a rare form of brain cancer.
Last week a video of a healthy Williams working out was posted to social media and his agent, Vincent Taylor, was given permission to seek a trade out of Washington.
But barring a significant change in Washington’s asking price and Williams’ salary demands, it doesn’t appear that the Browns will be the team pulling the trigger to land the 32-year old.