Wonder no more: Trent Williams says "the bridge has definitely been burned."
Even before the Redskins officially closed the door by placing Williams on the season-ending reserve/non-football injury list, he told USA Today Sports' Mike Jones the team's actions during the past few months and years have ended any possibility of reconciliation.
“I feel like everything has run its course,” Williams told USA Today. “I mean, I do want to play football still and I’m not a free agent until after the 2020 season, so who knows. But the bridge has definitely been burned, and any efforts now, basically are, in my opinion, pretty much just CYA (cover your ass).”
Williams, who did not speak publicly since his holdout began in June, said the media blackout was done to maintain a "level of respect," but then Washington "resorted to the blame game."
He did speak after reporting to the team on Oct. 31 after the NFL trade deadline passed and said he almost lost his life. When asked if he had trust in the organization, Williams said, “No. There’s no trust here.”
The Redskins left tackle claims he asked team doctors numerous times over the last six years about a growth on his head and told them he was concerned about it. Williams said Redskins doctors repeatedly classified the growth as a cyst. Williams told USA Today the doctors said, "it wasn't that serious," when he asked if the growth could be removed during a scheduled operation on his knee in 2017.
Williams said he asked about the growth on two separate occasions while undergoing procedures during the 2018 season, as well, and was told to wait for the offseason. It wasn't until Jan. 2019 that Williams received a call informing him a biopsy revealed the growth was cancerous, per USA Today.
While Williams has said owner Daniel Snyder was supportive, including flying the tackle on a private jet for examinations in Chicago to see a doctor Snyder recommended, it was team president Bruce Allen who damaged his relationship with the organization. 106.7 The Fan's Craig Hoffman reported a source close to Williams says he maintains his respect for the Redskins owner because he feels Snyder helped save his life.
“It wasn’t his fault. He’s not down there in the training room. It’s not on him. It’s not on anybody. I had a very rare form of cancer; my displeasure comes from how long it lingered and how it was neglected and how it almost cost me my life,” Williams told the media in October.
Williams told USA Today, the dismissive nature with which Allen reacted, the team doctors' misdiagnosis, and the track record of post-surgery setbacks (including quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Alex Smith and running back Derrius Guice) is what led him to ask for a trade.
During the holdout, many reports indicated Williams' demands were related to getting more money and downplayed his medical concerns. Others pinned blame on him for missing appointments and not taking his own health seriously enough. Williams told USA Today he believes Allen was behind many of those media leaks.
“They started putting poison pills out there, that it was just about the money," Williams told USA Today. "The talk about me missing appointments? I’ll tell you what it was. It was scheduled for a Thursday, and I went on a Friday. I just had gotten it off by a day, one time.”
However, Williams did not deny he did ask for a contract extension early this offseason and told USA Today had a long conversation about a possible extension with Allen. “I knew I was coming up on a year with no guaranteed money, and I wanted to open the conversation about them making me a Redskin for the rest of my career,” Williams said.
According to Williams, Allen denied his request for an extension. "I felt like they could have worked something out if they really wanted me," Williams told USA Today. "But the breaking point was how things played out with my health and how I felt like I was mistreated. I put this organization first for so long, but they never took it seriously, and I do stand for something, and I felt like it’s not just a stand for me, but for future players as well. Because let’s be honest, they’ve got a bad track record.”
“If I felt like they were genuine, I’d be all for it,” Williams told USA Today about the investigation. “They’re not doing it to find out what went wrong. They’re doing it to cover their butts.
"Mine isn’t the only situation they got wrong. There are a lot of situations they could have looked into. Why didn’t they do it before now? Why didn’t they do it in (McCoy’s) case? And they keep putting out these false reports. That’s never helpful. I just feel like regardless of what the findings of the investigation are, they’re going to try to find a way to paint me negatively and make themselves look better.”