Sure, the Redskins were playing without much of their starting offensive line in Morgan Moses, Brandon Scherff, and Chase Roullier, but the backups that were on the field were no match for several of the Browns front line players on the left side.
The problem was thoroughly expounded by the absence of seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams.
The left tackle position has been a staple for the Redskins over the years. Before Williams was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, players such as Chris Samuels, Jim Lachey, and Joe Jacoby manned the left side with Pro Bowl success.
Williams, 31, is now embroiled in a holdout that seemingly is turning bitter with an end date that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon anytime soon.
Washington’s front office has to get in front of the situation by either appeasing Williams and whatever his demands are or by doing what was once unthinkable and trading the most accomplished player on the roster.
Recent reports that have surfaced and also ones that go back to the root of the problem insist that Williams is unhappy with the team’s medical staff and is prepared to continue his holdout.
The time for a resolution is becoming close to the point of no return. Williams talent dictates that he could miss the preseason and still suit up for Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles and be an instant upgrade over what the Redskins have on the current roster at left tackle.
The team recently signed former 3x Pro Bowler, Donald Penn to help lesson the absence of Williams, but Penn is 36 and coming off of two down seasons – paying right tackle – that was filled with injuries.
Ironically, Penn mentioned that he and Williams are good friends who spoke about the 14-year veteran signing with the Redskins. The former Utah State player also mentioned that he signed with the Redskins intending to start.
“… I wanted to go somewhere where I had a chance to start. I play left tackle and I know Jay Gruden’s (Head Coach) offense pretty well because I worked with his brother a lot and I worked with Jay in my first two years in the league, in Tampa. So, I have a lot of familiar faces here – [President] Bruce Allen, [Senior Vice President of Player Personnel] Doug Williams. They said they needed some help and we worked everything out, so I was willing to come in and help.”
That lingo in itself doesn’t bode well for Williams supporters who desperately want him to return to the trenches and man his spot.
The Redskins don’t seem in a rush to move on the situation but it is obvious that if the situation is about money, they don’t seem eager to extend Williams contract in any capacity at this point.
As dominant as Williams has been over the years, he has not played a full 16 game season in over five campaigns and that could be what the Redskins are using as motivation to not pay the former Oklahoma All-American if the issue is truly about finances. In fairness to Williams, however, he has played through injuries and come back earlier than expected from other ailments to be on the field with his teammates.
Again, the only legit resolution to the dilemma if both sides want a swift end to the episode is to either trade Williams or pay him/address issues within the medical staff and play ball. The time for grandstanding on either side is not going to help the matter and it’s clear that both parties are firmly standing with their heels dug into the ground.