FINLAY: Trent Williams 'as good as gone'

Chris Lingebach
August 13, 2019 - 1:33 pm

A spree of conflicting reports late Monday evening ramped up trade rhetoric regarding Redskins left tackle Trent Williams and his ongoing holdout.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Redskins have told multiple teams they are "not trading 7-time Pro Bowl OT Trent Williams."

Minutes later, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported: "Trent Williams will be traded. Only a matter of time."

Tuesday morning, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington provided a little more context, reporting that while the Redskins maintain they won't be trading Williams, that hasn't stopped other teams from inquiring.

"Sources tell NBC Sports Washington that three teams have been actively pursuing the seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle, and while no deal is imminent, the calls aren't stopping," reported Finlay. "One of those teams is the New England Patriots, sources explained, and most of the heavy chasing of Williams is coming from AFC teams."

Finlay doubled down on that report Tuesday afternoon, in an appearance with 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, telling the hosts that, based on his conversations with league sources, he thinks "Trent Williams is as good as gone."

"I reported this morning, I know the Redskins have gotten phone calls on Trent," Finlay said on 106.7 The Fan. "I know there are three teams actively pursuing him. That includes the Patriots, which we first heard about a couple weeks ago. So we know that people are calling."

"As far as the Redskins won't trade him, I believe that's what they're saying today, and maybe yesterday and tomorrow," he continued. "There's no upside in them admitting they're looking to trade him, because they lose leverage in the deal. They have to pretend that the charade of them willing to stonewall him for a year is possible, I just don't see it happening.

"I heard your tease there about taking calls on how much your opinion has changed. The phone calls I've had with some league folks in the last week, I think Trent Williams is as good as gone."

"Ultimately, you think that he's traded and that's how this gets resolved?" Finlay was asked.

"Yeah, I do," he said.

Asked what's changed, Finlay answered, "For me personally, I'll tell ya, is I wrote a story last week while we were in Richmond, after talking to a few different people close to Trent that know the situation. I thought all along that this would end in late August, that Trent would show up and that he'd be the left tackle in Philadelphia in Week 1.

"A lot of that was because I thought he didn't want to miss game checks, he didn't want to miss regular season games. He cares about football too much. The conversations I had with these folks lead me to believe that, while he still cares about game checks a tremendous amount, the issues between him and the Redskins organization are such that he is willing to really miss regular season games and to carry this thing on for a while."

"And with that knowledge, I think if I know, I think the Redskins know it too," he said. "And I think they recognize that they cannot let this continue to just get worse and worse. At some point you've got to leverage your asset."

Finlay was asked when he thinks a trade might go down, if it's a matter of waiting for an injury on another team to drive up the price for Williams.

"I think it all depends on when the price tag gets high enough," Finlay said. "I think you are talking about a first-round pick, or you're talking about a player that can help the Redskins in return right away. Because the other part we know, that Bruce Allen and throughout the organization has said, is 'we believe we're close.' So, if you believe you're close, then a package of picks in 2020 and 2021 might not mean as much to you as a good player that can help you right  now."

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