It’s no secret the six-time Pro Bowl left tackle wants out of Landover, and cites an all-out distrust of the team’s medical staff as the key reason for demanding a trade. Williams was signed to a five-year, $66 million contract in 2015 that included $43.25 million in guaranteed money, however, which means he’s locked into the Redskins through the 2020 season and is owed $23.35 million over the remaining two years — barring an exit via release or trade. It was recently reported, but another report disputes the claim.
According to Les Carpenter of The Washington Post, the organization denied Williams’ trade demand on June 1 — followed by stonewalling a follow-up request for an increase in pay, in lieu of said trade — having now dug their heels into a belief that levying hefty fines for his holdout will motivate him to return to their locker room, or at least start answering their calls.
Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL, Williams can be fined $40,000 for every day he chooses to not show up, and his current tab now stands at $280,000. Given that accounts for only seven days of what will be a long training camp, that number could easily surpass $1 million by the end of August. That is also simply one side of the equation, because the holdout also gives the Redskins the ability to go after some of the aforementioned guaranteed money in his contract.
For owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen, the financial hit is enough to force Williams out of his bunker. For a player that has already earned more than $48 million over the first four years of his career — and one who blames the medical staff for what he views as poor care, a misdiagnosis and a botched procedure to remove a growth from his head that led to the 31-year-old requiring yet another “clean up” procedure — waiving a potential $1 million penalty in front of him probably won’t do the trick.
Williams legitimately feels the medical staff put his football career and life in jeopardy, which explains why he’s so adamant.
The stalemate will inevitably have to end in one way or another, though, because those fines will also add to unearned income in 2019 if Williams’ holdout bleeds into the regular season. Based upon his 2019 base salary alone, Williams will lose approximately $638,000 each week he’s not on the field for the Redskins — if healthy and capable. So while a $1 million penalty may be something he can shrug off, one that exceeds a total of $12 million is an entirely different conversation. Then again, as stated, if Williams feels he’d be risking his life or the quality thereof by putting it back in the hands of Redskins doctors, no amount of money will get him to wear that helmet again.
In the meantime, the club has signed longtime left tackle Donald Penn as they work to figure things out in Williams’ absence.