Jonah Williams expected to play upcoming season with Bengals despite trade request
Cincinnati listened to offers for the right tackle but ultimately decided to keep him.
CINCINNATI (Enquirer) - After requesting a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals in March, tackle Jonah Williams is expected to participate in all mandatory offseason activities and play this season at right tackle in Cincinnati, a source tells our media partners at The Enquirer.
The Bengals had discussions with the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to the 2023 NFL draft about a trade, but Cincinnati opted not to move Williams. When the Bengals decided to keep Williams, the Jaguars drafted a tackle in the first round in Anton Harrison out of Oklahoma.
Williams’ trade request came directly after the Bengals signed Orlando Brown in free agency.
Williams has been the Bengals starting left tackle since the team drafted him in 2019 with the No. 11 overall pick. He was blindsided by the move and wasn’t notified by the team ahead of the Bengals signing Brown and moving his position in a contract season.
The Bengals picked up Williams’ fifth-year option giving the team one more year to decide if they were going to sign him to a long-term deal.
For the upcoming season, the Bengals will pay Williams $12.6 million.
Acquiring Brown and moving Williams to the right side signals the Bengals don’t plan to keep Williams after this season. What remains one of the biggest questions currently is what is the Bengals’ succession plan after this year at right tackle?
Sure, head coach Zac Taylor can say former second-round pick Jackson Carman is going to compete for the job with Williams but the reality is if the Bengals viewed Carman as their long-term answer at right tackle, they would have dealt Williams to receive a draft pick.
Instead, they decided to keep Williams and it means the Bengals believe keeping him this season gives them the best chance to win this year.
Williams has yet to report to any of the Bengals’ voluntary offseason program. It’s unlikely he takes the field with the team until the mandatory portion begins. Cincinnati’s mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 13-15
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