Does Trent Williams have any family members who know first aid, and would maybe like a job with the Washington Redskins training staff? If that’s what it takes to get the veteran left tackle back in the fold at Ashburn, Ron Rivera’s probably willing to make it happen.
The new coach’s era of sunshine at Redskins Park has forced out head trainer Larry Hess — Dr. Doom — with former Carolina Panthers trainer Ryan Vermillion taking over instead.
The Redskins also added physical therapist Kevin Wilk, who we’ve been told is highly respected in the NFL, as a medical consultant to the organization.
It’s all part of Rivera’s plan, according to the Washington Post, to woo Williams back into the building.
To which I ask, “Why?”
The estranged Pro Bowl left tackle is a symbol of everything that was wrong with the Redskins under the direction of team president Bruce Allen.
The battle between Allen and Williams got ugly at the start of last season’s minicamp, when CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported that Williams was holding out and not just for money, but because he felt the team mishandled his cancer diagnosis for a tumor on his scalp.
According to the report, Williams had demanded a trade and vowed to never play for the Redskins again.
Allen responded by telling reporters he knew “the truth” about what happened between the team and Williams.
Never mind that Allen couldn’t spell truth if you spotted him the “t”, the “r,” the “u,” the second “t,” and the “h.” The stalemate continued through third party comments and reports until Williams finally reported at the end of October to save his service time for the season.
When Williams met with reporters, he made it clear that the issues with the team went beyond money and remained unresolved.
He said there was “no trust,” though he insisted he still respected owner Dan Snyder. “It wasn’t his fault,” he said (as if the owner couldn’t have stepped in any time and stopped all of this). “My displeasure comes from how long it lingered and how it was neglected and how it almost cost me my life.”
Williams never mentioned Allen by name, but he told reporters that they could “draw the conclusion” and responded, “next question” when asked if his relationship with Allen could be salvaged.
He also suggested Allen’s refusal to trade him, despite offers, was vindictive.
A week later Williams was put on the reserve nonfootball injury list and ended up not playing a down for the team and losing about $11 million in salary for the season.
Now, with Allen fired, Rivera is holding the door open for the star left tackle’s return.
The new head coach told 106.7 The Fan that repairing the team’s relationship with Williams was one of his goals. “That is something we are going to continue to work on, it is a little bit of a process right now, and again we are going to get ready to approach this situation,” Rivera said. “But again, we’re going to have to go through this, it’s not about reaching out and saying, ‘Hey, let’s pat each other on the back,’ no it’s about making sure we all understand what happened, what’s at stake, and we get it corrected. You know, enough blaming everybody, let’s find a solution so we can go forward as a football team and he can go forward as a football player. That’s probably the best thing that can happen for us.”
At this point, the best thing that can happen for the Redskins was the same thing that could have happened for them at this time last year — trade an aging, 31-years-old tackle with an injury history who wants to make more than the $12 million he is due next year, in the final year of his contract.
Rivera needs to turn the clock forward, not back. This team needs draft picks to help change that “damn good” culture Allen bragged about at Redskins Park.
One way to do that is to get rid of the FODs — Friends of Dan.
Rivera is inheriting a lot of good young players, but he needs to have more players on this roster who owe their jobs to him — not the previous toxic administration. Or to the owner.
The best solution for everyone is for Williams to move on. As great a left tackle as he may have been, the Redskins had little to show for his time in uniform. There is nothing to be nostalgic about. The sunshine — if there is any — is in front of this franchise, not in the rear view mirror.
⦁ Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan podcast Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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