Bengals VP Sounds More Open To Trading T Jonah Williams Than Does Zac Taylor

Nobody really expected the Cincinnati Bengals to be a team that would go all-in this offseason on a big, splashy move along the offensive line. Not after ostensibly signing three starters on the line last year. But then they came and brought in franchise left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. for a good chunk of change.

Left tackle just so happened to be the only spot on the line occupied by a long-time(ish) member of the Bengals, that being Jonah Williams, head coach Zac Taylor’s first draft pick. He wasn’t happy about it—so much so that he asked to be traded. While Taylor expressed that he expects Williams to be on the roster and competing to start at right tackle, it should be noted that team vice president Katie Blackburn sounded more open to the alternatives.

“We hear his concerns, but at the end of the day, we’ll just have to see where it all plays out”, she said last month, via Jay Morrison of The Athletic. “If he’s here, we’re gonna get our best five guys out there that hopefully makes us the best we can be”.

“If other options come about, again, it’s like the other stuff, every day is a new day. You don’t know what might come up”, she added. “Maybe there are trades you actually make. It can depend. Sometimes it’s after the draft, because you don’t get something in the draft, and then you do the trade. It’s all dependent on the circumstances, and you have to weigh the options and try to make a good decision that is going to make the team better”.

While he was once the 11th-overall pick out of Alabama in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams has never risen above anything other than average play. He is coming off what was likely his best season, but with Brown coming in, he’s obviously not going to be playing left tackle.

Williams did start at right tackle for the Crimson Tide back in 2015 before moving to left tackle the following season, but he has not seen action there since then, and, well, that’s closing in on a decade now with not a lengthy history of play.

Of course offensive linemen are often capable of changing positions. And realistically, is there a team around the league that would want to trade for Williams to make him their left tackle? Importantly, he is due to make $12,604,000 this season under the fifth-year option, and that salary is guaranteed.

That salary will significantly hurt his trade market, in which case it does make it difficult to imagine him being dealt. The Bengals have no incentive to do so unless they get something of value for him, barring a simple salary dump.

But they also do not know the health status of La’el Collins, whom they brought in a year ago to start at right tackle. He suffered a torn ACL and MCL in late December, making the timeline for his return to health rather cloudy.

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