- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 22, 2019

There appears to be a bit of public posturing going on when it comes to Trent Williams‘ trade value.

Conflicting reports emerged Thursday on whether the New England Patriots offered a first-round pick in exchange for the Redskins left tackle. The Team 980’s Kevin Sheehan — and later confirmed by NBC Sports Washington — reported the Patriots were willing to offer the Redskins their 2020 first-rounder, only for them to be told that wasn’t enough. But a source told the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that was “unequivocally not true.”

What does it all mean? In this case, the leaks could be used an attempt to drive Williams‘ trade price. While the source of the leaks are not known, the Redskins may be trying to establish a low first-round pick as the bare minimum asking price in a Williams trade, a theory first floated by Pro Football Talk.

Last week, ESPN reported the Redskins were resisting trade talks for Williams, who remains committed to his hold out. But CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora maintained a Williams trade was “only a matter of time.”

Williams has reportedly told friends he no longer wishes to play for the Redskins amid other reports the 31-year-old’s relationship with the front office is fractured. Williams remains away from the Redskins, and there is no sign he plans to return to the team anytime soon.

On Monday, coach Jay Gruden said “maybe” when asked if he had talked with Williams in the past two weeks.

“Texted, talked,” Gruden said. “Maybe. It is what it is right now. He’s not here so we just have to talk about the people that we have.”

The Patriots were one of at least three teams known to be “actively pursuing” Williams, NBC Sports Washington reported last week. Typically, the Patriots select late in the first round because of their annual playoff success. On Thursday, the outlet added the Patriots were no longer interested in Williams.

The Redskins have used second-year tackle Geron Christian in Williams‘ place along the first-team offensive line, but veteran Donald Penn also remains a candidate for that spot. Both players have struggled throughout the preseason.

Gruden has said he remains optimistic Williams will eventually show up for the start of the regular season. The Redskins open the season Sept.8 in Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.

But Williams is reportedly prepared to miss game checks, if that’s how this process unfolds. Williams is upset with the team’s medical staff over the handling of a benign tumor on his scalp this offseason, and would like the team to give him a new contract or trade him. The seven-time Pro Bowler has two years left on his five-year, $66 million contract.

Speaking to reporters last week, running back Adrian Peterson, Williams‘ close friend, said he tried to convince Williams to return, only to be rebuffed.

“‘I had one conversation with him about it, and after that, I knew that this was going to be a decision that he had to make on his own,” Peterson said.

So far, neither party has budged as the situation drags on.

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