The Redskins have enjoyed a successful offseason by their typically dreadful standards, but after signing safety Landon Collins in free agency and somehow landing quarterback Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 in the draft (thanks Dave Gettleman), an enormous problem has suddenly emerged at mandatory minicamp. Their stud left tackle has gone missing.
Trent Williams, the team's seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle, was absent on Tuesday because he wants a new contract, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden acknowledged Williams' absence and while he didn't specifically mention a contract dispute, he confirmed that his absence is related to "the business side of football."
With two years remaining on his contract, Williams is scheduled to bring in roughly $14.7 million both this year and next year. He carries the seventh-highest cap hit for a left tackle this season. Leading the way is Giants left tackle Nate Solder, who is scheduled to earn $17 million during the upcoming season.
So Williams doesn't need that much more money to be compensated like the league's best left tackle, but it's not clear if the Redskins are willing to give him the raise he wants with two more years still to go on his deal, which.
Gruden called Williams the league's best offensive tackle, but that no longer appears to be true. He's still good, but he's not what he once was. This past season, Williams graded out as Pro Football Focus' 21st best offensive tackle. Availability is beginning to become a concern. Williams hasn't pieced together a full 16-game season since 2013. He's missed 16 games over the past five seasons.
That said, the Redskins can't really afford to be without Williams during the upcoming season. They don't have anyone on their roster who can adequately replace him. And they might enter the year with rookie Dwayne Haskins under center. Making sure Haskins is placed in an environment conducive to success should be the Redskins' priority. They need to find a way to bring Williams back into the fold.
The good news is that it's only June. Plenty of time remains for the two sides to work something out. While Williams is taking a stand by skipping minicamp, it's remarkably rare for a player to extend a holdout into the regular season.