The Cincinnati Bengals reshuffled their offensive line this offseason, making a major splash by signing former Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a massive deal in free agency. While that may help push the franchise over the top during the next few seasons, the move did have some after-effects that are still lingering around the organization.
After Brown inked his deal with Cincinnati, fellow offensive tackle Jonah Williams requested a trade. Williams had been the Bengals left tackle since the club selected him with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama. Now, Brown is slated to slot in on the blindside, while Williams is expected to move to right tackle with La'el Collins recovering from a torn ACL. This arraignment doesn't seem to be what Williams has in mind, thus the trade request. The Bengals have said, however, that they have no plans to acquiesce to Williams' request, so this situation is still in flux.
Joe Burrow was asked about Williams' status on Tuesday and said that he respects his decision.
"We love Jonah," Burrow said, via NFL.com. "Jonah's been a big part of our success for the last couple of years. So, hopefully, we have him back. But business is business. Whatever Jonah thinks is best for his career is what he's going to do. And we'll support him in whatever he decides."
The Bengals picked up Williams' fifth-year option and he is set to make $12.604 million for the 2023 season. Given that the team did sign his replacement at left tackle, one would think that trading Williams would make sense for both sides, but Collins' injury does throw a wrench into those plans. He tore his ACL in Week 16 against the Patriots, so his road to recovery could bleed into this coming season, meaning that Williams is more valuable to them in the immediate future than as a trade piece.
Williams has not been a part of the Bengals' voluntary portions of the offseason program to this point as he recovers from offseason knee surgery, but is reportedly expected to show up during the mandatory sessions.