The New England Patriots are at the top of the AFC (again) with a ground-and-pound running game and a suffocating defense – but the line is an issue
The best player on the depleted Washington roster is former first round (4th overall) pick Trent Williams.
He’s also not playing for the team currently.
The seven time consecutive Pro Bowl left tackle began his ongoing holdout by not showing up to training camp in June, reportedly based on frustrating with how the team was being run. And Washington has done very little to prove his frustrations wrong. In addition to being functionally non-competitive in nearly every game this season, the 1-5 Snyder-led ball club has already fired their head coach, and benched their starting quarterback, benched their first round pick quarterback in favor of a third string journeyman, and then unbenched their starting quarterback all in a matter of six weeks.
All of this has led to the growing belief that the All Pro tackle will be traded prior to the deadline at the end of this month.
Enter the New England Patriots. Seemingly always in the market for top flight, disgruntled veterans, the Patriots again seem to be on a collision course with the Super Bowl, and with Tom Brady‘s 7th Super Bowl ring.
Bill Belicheck’s team boasts the number one defense in football, an above average running game, adequate receivers, and the best quarterback in the history of football. But, the team is desperately short on the offensive line, both in terms of starting caliber players and quality depth. And that, despite all of the above, could prove to be the team’s undoing. The unit started the season well, but with an injury sidelining starting LT Isaiah Wynn, among other factors, the line has suffered quite a bit over the last three weeks. The team hopes Wynn can return – but it seems unlikely that the team can count on such a return can occur this season.
So, what do you get when you mix a disgruntled All Pro player, a Patriot Super Bowl run, Bill Belicheck and an obvious weakness? A trade, of course!
Trent Williams is due essentially no money this year ($2m or so left); and can be cut prior to next weekend for only $2m in dead cap money (or kept, likely on a restructured deal, and continuing to start for the next several seasons.
Rumors have emerged which suggest that the Browns could be the frontrunners for Williams’ services. But, if we’ve learned one thing from our time watching Belicheck operate his dynasty, its that the Patriots should never be counted out in situations like this. ‘The Hoodie’ is willing to take risks as needed, and regularly seems to get the better end of trades such as this one.
Washington is a franchise in turmoil and in transition, and Williams represents their greatest trade asset. They must move him prior to the deadline to maximize their return. New England mustn’t risk making their Super Bowl run without adequate protection for their future Hall of Famer.
This deal makes too much sense not to happen.