The Washington Redskins are mending fences with stalwart left tackle Trent Williams, and the icy relationship between the sides “is thawing a little bit,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.
Rapoport reported Williams, who previously had not been returning phone calls from the organization, called back new head coach Ron Rivera and had “a very positive” conversation.
Rapoport added that the next step would be for Williams to visit the facility and hash out any remaining concerns. There is optimism that Williams could return to the team to play in 2020, months after he was considered a very likely trade candidate this offseason.
Williams, 31, sat out all of 2019 over concerns with the team’s medical staff and his contract. He said last October he had “no trust” with the organization, specifically then-team president Bruce Allen and the athletic trainers, who failed to diagnose a cancerous tumor on Williams’ head that required surgery to remove last offseason.
Williams eventually reported to the team to ensure his contract did not toll, but he was placed on the non-football injury list and did not play, with the team reportedly electing not to pay his salary.
Allen and the training staff have since been let go as part of a restructuring that included the hiring of Rivera, formerly the head coach for the Carolina Panthers. Allen was reportedly dead set on trading Williams this offseason after failing to do so before last October’s trade deadline, but the new staff wants to bring Williams back.
Before missing 2019, Williams had made seven consecutive Pro Bowls, though he has not played in all 16 games in a season since 2013.
The nine-year veteran is due $12.5 million in 2020, the final year of a five-year, $68 million extension signed in 2016. He indicated last fall that while his concerns with Allen and the medical staff were more prominent, he also hoped to have his contract redone.