Anger, denial, bargaining, depression. Acceptance.
After five months, it’s possible Washington finally has reached the fifth stage of grief regarding the demise of their relationship with tackle Trent Williams — and that the organization has now embarked on getting the best possible deal for him.
When a report emerged a few weeks ago that Washington was “having trade talks” regarding Williams, the team leaked that it’s not shopping Williams, and that it hopes daily fines in the amount of $40,000 will get him to show up. If, as it appears, the team leaked that it rejected New England’s offer of a 2020 first-round pick for Williams, the team apparently has finally realized that trading Williams is the only viable solution to the problem.
Although it’s always hard to interpret the moves and messages of a dysfunctional organization, the reason for leaking the rejected trade offer is obvious: It essentially invites other interested teams to make an offer, and it sets the floor for trade talks at the bottom of round one, given that’s where the Patriots almost always draft.
The report has sparked chatter in league circles regarding what Washington wants for Williams, including one hypothesis that Washington’s wish list is topped by what likely amounts to a pipe dream: Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill. Even if the Chiefs are thinking about moving on from Hill in lieu of paying him more than $20 million per year, the better approach would be to tag and trade him after the season, like they did with pass-rusher Dee Ford earlier this year.
Besides, the Chiefs don’t need Williams. And even if they did, Hill would be a lot to surrender to get a guy who has made it clear that he’s done playing for Washington.
That’s what ultimately will make it hard for Williams to get more than a low first-round pick, if it’s true that New England made that offer. Barring an auction among multiple teams that would drive the price up, it will be very hard for Washington to get significant compensation for a player who by all appearances will never play for Washington again.