Paulsen: Redskins haven't ruled out retaining Trent Williams

Chris Lingebach
April 24, 2020 - 4:36 pm

The first round may have temporarily dashed the Redskins' hopes of using the draft to create leverage for a Trent Williams deal.

The Redskins, who entered the draft hoping to swing a deal for the disgruntled left tackle that would net them an additional high-round pick, sat and watched as six teams – the Browns, Jets, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Titans and Giants – selected tackles in the first round, a run on the position that left few suitors for a 31-year-old who hasn't played a down since 2018.

That's not to say there isn't still a market for Williams. The Minnesota Vikings are still in search of a left tackle. A deal with Minnesota would reunite Williams with quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose blindside he protected for parts of six seasons in Washington.

And the Vikings aren't the only team still in the mix, 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen reported Friday. Further, Paulsen adds, the Redskins aren't in a position where they feel trading Williams is their only option, adding another level of intrigue to a saga that's now stretched almost a calendar year since Williams failed to report to mandatory OTAs in the spring of 2019.

The Redskins see value in Williams, who still has one year remaining on his current deal, protecting second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Paulsen says. This suggests the Redskins hold out some hope of getting Williams back in a Redskins uniform.

"The debate for them is this: Do they get an offer better than Williams playing for some of 2020 and a future 5th?" Paulsen said. "If they do, I think they'd take it. If not? They seem less willing to just punt and take whatever is offered than people want them to be."

The Redskins entered Thursday's draft seeking a second-round pick for Williams. After the first round, they're now at a point where they must accept a second-rounder isn't coming back their way, at least not a second-rounder in 2020. If that results in them thinking they should bank on Williams returning, well then we're right back where we started (again).