Trent Williams' contract dispute could destroy the chemistry incoming Redskins coach Ron Rivera is trying to create.
The offensive tackle's money grab after a year-long holdout is exactly what the team doesn't need from its captain. And for that, it's time to say goodbye. Trade him for a second- or third-rounder and move along.
Frankly, this whole thing has stunk from the start. After first claiming health reasons for not reporting, Williams finally showed hours before a mid-season deadline to claim credit for one season on his contract. Days later, he was gone after saying the helmet didn't fit properly over his surgical scar.
Enough already with this nonsense. The Redskins could force Williams to report or sit out again, but this situation is too toxic for a new coach trying to rebuild a locker room. Williams obviously doesn't want to stay with a team that has paid him $100 million over nine years and stuck by him through two drug suspensions. Releasing a starting left tackle is too much for the Redskins, though. They need to trade him.
Williams has long been disgruntled despite always being paid among the top players at his position. Sure, he fell behind when taking a long-term deal, but that's the tradeoff for security. Somehow, that escapes Williams' thinking.
Reportedly, Williams is looking for $18 million to $20 million annually. That's insane. We're talking about someone who missed 16 games over five seasons and has not played a full year since 2013. In nine seasons, Williams played 16 games only twice.
The Redskins can't gamble $20 million annually on a multi-year deal for a player who turns 32 years old shortly before training camp opens. If Williams gets hurt again or play diminishes as it did before the holdout, it could cripple the team's salary cap. Maybe taking a year off will revitalize Williams, but he's coming back for the money, not the passion of the game. That doesn't inspire confidence.
The Redskins don't have a Plan B yet. Losing Williams may force Washington into trading its coming No. 2 overall pick for multiple selections that help gain the next left tackle. But, the team can't be pressured into overpaying an aging player who they would have finished 3-13 even with last season.
Let someone else overpay Williams. He's just not worth it to Washington anymore.