There may be light at the end of the tunnel for the Redskins and Trent Williams after all.
After missing all of the 2019 season, Williams has reportedly touched base with Redskins coach Ron Rivera, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Williams reported to Ashburn eventually in Week 9, but failed the last portion of his physical when he felt discomfort trying on his helmet. Williams had passed every portion of the physical administered by team doctors.
The Redskins then took the irreversible step of placing Williams on the NFI List and then opted not to pay the remainder of his salary, a shrewd decision intended to punish him for holding out.
Rivera and Williams "touched base for what sounded like a positive conversation," says Rapoport, who adds, "The next step would be for Williams to come in to visit, but the two sides are now communicating."
"There is a long way to go and plenty of issues to sort out," he adds, but the Redskins "have Trent Williams in their plans, and a fresh start (without Bruce Allen) could mean Williams is open to continuing with the only organization he’s played for."
Rivera made a point during his introduction as Redskins coach last month to say he had a plan for how to approach Williams. If he were to successfully lure Williams back, it would be a political boon for Rivera in the eyes of Redskins fans in his first year as head coach.
Williams' two biggest problems with the organization, leading to the start of his holdout last season, have already been rectified. After team doctors misdiagnosed a potentially cancerous growth on his scalp, Williams grew distrust for former team president Bruce Allen and head athletic trainer Larry Hess, both of whom were fired after the 2019 season.
Rivera quickly replaced Hess with longtime Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion, a highly respected name in the NFL.
Maybe Allen was right all along in saying Williams would play for the Redskins again. It just took Allen leaving first.