Jay Gruden in no mood to discuss Trent Williams

Chris Lingebach
June 11, 2019 - 8:15 pm

Jay Gruden was in no mood to discuss Trent Williams, who was notably absent from Redskins OTAs for the second straight week Tuesday.

Here's the prickly exchange between Gruden and JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, who took the bullet for a team of reporters hoping for an update on Williams:

Finlay: We won't get to talk to you for awhile. Is there any Trent Williams update?

Gruden: Trent Williams? No.

Finlay: If he's not there when training camp opens, how big of a concern is that for you?

Gruden: If.

Finlay: If he's not there when camp opens, how big of a conc--

Gruden: Well, there's a lot of 'ifs' that we can go over right now. I don't have time. I don't know what's going to happen. If Dwayne Haskins isn't there, I'll be concerned, and if Case Keenum decides not to show up, I'll be concerned, and if...

Finlay: But you expect all those guys to be there, right?

Gruden: I expect everybody to be there, yes. 

Finlay: Okay.

Finlay took 106.7 The Fan listeners behind the scenes of that exchange, telling Chad Dukes what can be gleaned from conversations – past and present – about Williams.

"Hey, uh, Gruden kind of gave it to you today, didn't he?" Dukes said.

"I have gotten it from Gruden. That wasn't really getting it," Finlay said. "That is: He doesn't feel like dealing with Trent. He knows the question is coming. He's not that excited about it. He didn't really want to answer it.

"I also think there is some belief inside Redskins Park that this thing just kind of goes away, and Trent might just magically appear in Richmond. I think this thing goes away, but I think Trent doesn't go to Richmond. Just because I don't think he really cares or needs to go to training camp."

"I think last week he got quite tired of it, and he had two comments that I thought were pretty telling," Finlay explained. "One was, 'Yeah, you know, Trent's gonna have to get with Bruce and (Eric) Schaffer to figure this thing out.' And that's the reality of a contract situation. And then later in the week, Jay said, 'There's really nothing I can do. I'm not in charge of the medical stuff, and I'm not in charge of the contracts.'

"So Gruden, in a lot of ways, is kind of just a punching bag in those situations. He's the only public face we get access to and we ask him those questions. And when I asked him about it, I kind of prefaced it like, 'Hey, we're not gonna get to talk to you for awhile. Is there any update?' Knowing full well there wasn't an update, but it's still relevant to the job and relevant to my role as getting the information."

"You know, Bruce did talk, might be what the organization would say," Finlay went on to say. "He didn't say a heck of a lot, but he said something."

So as we head into the dog days of summer, there's still no on-the-record clarity from the Redskins as to whether Williams simply demanded a trade or a new contract, or whether he was embittered enough to ask for a trade or his release, as Jason La Canfora reported.

And whatever the truth is, we know that team president Bruce Allen knows it.

For those answers, we may have to wait another month and a half, when training camp kicks off in Richmond on July 26.

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