But according to Williams, the door, the road leading up to it, and everything else was already ablaze well before then.
Williams told Mike Jones of USA Today that he wants to play again, but knows it’s not likely to be in his current place of employment.
“I feel like everything has run its course,” Williams said. “I mean, I do want to play football still and I’m not a free agent until after the 2020 season, so who knows. But the bridge has definitely been burned, and any efforts now, basically are, in my opinion, pretty much just CYA.”
Williams stayed away this offseason, amid concerns about his medical care for a tumor on his head. Since then, the team has requested a third-party investigation of the care he received, which only deepened the divide.
“If I felt like they were genuine, I’d be all for it,” Williams said. “They’re not doing it to find out what went wrong. They’re doing it to cover their butts.
“Mine isn’t the only situation they got wrong. There are a lot of situations they could have looked into. Why didn’t they do it before now? Why didn’t they do it in Colt [McCoy’s] case? [McCoy needed multiple surgeries to repair his broken leg] And they keep putting out these false reports. That’s never helpful. I just feel like regardless of what the findings of the investigation are, they’re going to try to find a way to paint me negatively and make themselves look better.”
Williams also said he thought recent leaks and stories about him were planted by the organization, out of a desire to make him look greedy. He acknowledges there were talks about a new contract at one point, but that wasn’t the reason for his unhappiness.
“I had a lot of anger about my situation,” Williams said. “I felt like they could have worked something out if they really wanted me. But the breaking point was how things played out with my health and how I felt like I was mistreated. I put this organization first for so long, but they never took it seriously, and I do stand for something, and I felt like it’s not just a stand for me, but for future players as well. Because let’s be honest, they’ve got a bad track record.”
Williams is likely to be traded this offseason, but the team had chances to do that this year, making it look like a spite-driven decision.