Rapoport: Money probably smooths things over with Trent Williams

Chris Lingebach
July 30, 2019 - 5:44 pm

The Redskins have taken out an insurance policy against training camp holdout Trent Williams by flying out veteran left tackle Donald Penn to sign a one-year deal.

Ian Rapoport, who first broke the news, called 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier with his latest insights into the Penn signing and Williams' ongoing holdout.

"My understanding is a deal is in place. They reached an agreement I believe earlier this morning," Rapoport said Tuesday. "Penn is gonna be on the way to D.C., to Richmond, later today, I would say pretty shortly. I don't know if the plane is off right now, but it's going soon, and then he's actually going to physically sign tomorrow. So the deal is done. It's a one-year, incentive laden deal. Donald Penn's gonna be a member of the Redskins and, you know, their presumptive starting left tackle until we're notified otherwise, I guess is the best way to say it."

Asked if signing Penn can be viewed as chess move by the Redskins, Rapoport said, "I view it as a player who may end up starting the season for the Washington Redskins."

"I don't know how long Trent Williams' holdout is gonna last," he said. "I was told it is not gonna end anytime soon, and at this point, he does not intend to report. We've heard players say this before. Trent Williams, as you guys know, is a different dude, so I think when he says things, he means it.

"I have not heard at all that there's any resolution coming with that situation, either how he feels about how he was handled medically, or what he wants financially. So to me, Donald Penn had opportunities. I know he wanted to go in and play, not just be a placeholder. I would imagine, if he shows up to Redskins tomorrow, which he will, at the very least the belief is he is going to be starting when the season begins. And who knows after that?"

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"One thing that I haven't heard you say as much as some other national reporters, La Canfora among them, is that this is more about the medical side than the money side. What's your read on why Trent Williams is upset?" he was asked. "And if they were to offer him a new contract, would that heal the wounds?"

"Possibly, yeah. I mean, my understanding is there's obviously some medical frustration," Rapoport said. "You know, I know that when he realized this was going on, really during the season last year, he just doesn't feel – from what I'm told – that it was handled quick enough and basically serious enough. Like it took him going to his own doctor to kind of get it checked out and realize that it was something that could turn into cancer, that he ended up getting it removed and having surgery and all of that."

"As far as the money situation," he continued. "From what I'm told, because of his frustration, because of the way he feels about the organization, how they handled it, they can – like anything else in life, sadly – they can sort of handle it monetarily. Can you make someone feel better by giving them a little money? Yeah. Life is like that sometimes. So that's kind of how I link those two.

"Basically that it's not just a straight money deal, but given his frustration, money would probably make things a little bit better." 

Rapoport doesn't know how the Redskins will handle the situation moving forward, but did call to mind one specific example of how a previous training camp holdout was resolved amicably.

"The Redskins are not necessarily a team that says, 'You know what? We messed up.' If they in fact messed up, which obviously Trent Williams believes," Rapoport said. "They have not been a team that says, 'You know what? We completely own up. We're sorry. We're gonna try to fix this.' That just has not been the way of doing things. So I don't know how this ends.

"I mean, sometimes in these situations, you sit across from a player. You go, 'Look. We wish we had handled this differently. You obviously wish some things had happened. What do we need to do to get you back in camp?' Sometimes that happens. I remember when Aaron Donald was holding out, strictly for contract reasons, but there was a visit that Sean McVay and (Rams GM) Les Snead and everyone took to Pittsburgh I guess, at that point, to kind of be like, 'We still love you. Let's work this out.'

"I haven't heard of any grand gesture like that from the Redskins," he said. "Maybe that's what it would take, but I just, I'm trying to figure this out and I don't see where the end comes."

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