A report came out today from Jason La Canfora (Yeah, I know) that Williams is upset with the way Washington handled his injury situation over the past few months, and he wants out. Apparently he doesn’t care how it’s performed, but the main factor is that he’s deadset in not suiting up in the burgundy and gold again:
Trent Williams issues with Skins are not financial at all according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation. He's told teammates he has demanded a trade or his release from the club due to their handling of his recent medical situation. Has vowed not to play for them— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 5, 2019
Now, the details are muddy in terms of the Rams acquiring a player of his caliber. First and foremost is fair compensation both to the team you trade with, and potentially even the player (whispers that Williams wants more money). Secondly, the Rams have a mere $6.8m in cap space prior to signing their rookie class, so that’ll obviously be the biggest hurdle to clear if they’re interested. Williams is under contract for two more seasons with an average of $14.7m per year. Lastly, where does he play? LT Andrew Whitworth decided to return for one more season and play out his contract, though they both can’t line up on the blindside obviously. Could Big Whit slide to left guard like he has in the past? Or is none of this even a possibility? The major reason the Rams would be smart to inquire is because Williams is a future Hall of Famer (as well as a seven-time pro bowler, and only 30 years old), as is Whitworth. And not often do you cross the opportunity to acquire a player of such caliber, especially on a discount price.
Why would Williams be intrigued in playing for the Rams?
Well, first things first, the culture Head Coach Sean McVay has built speaks for itself. The results were instantaneous, but not only that, the players genuinely seem to LOVE playing for him in Los Angeles.
Another factor is that Williams simply hasn’t been able to maintain his health. He hasn’t played in 16 games in a season since 2013, and has only done it twice (2012, 2013) in his nine year career. The Rams are the only team in the NFL who’ve started the same five offensive lineman in every game the past two seasons, maintaining an insane ability to remain healthy throughout a long and grueling NFL season.
The last factor is the aggressiveness of General Manager Les Snead and the relationship between McVay (who previously worked for Washington) and Williams (as well as Head Coach Jay Gruden). The roots are there, so it’s feasible.
Going back to the salary cap issue, the easiest way the Rams can create cap space are:
- Re-structure Aaron Donald’s contract, create $6.7m in cap space
- Re-structure Brandin Cooks’ contract, create $7.7m in cap space
Is this something the Rams could entertain? Probably not, but they’d be smart to at least inquire.