Well, the fun lasted all of a day and a half, as Jonah Williams has informed the Cincinnati Bengals that he'd like to be traded. This came not even two full days after the Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. with the intent to start him at left tackle and move Williams to right tackle.
Williams, a first-round pick by the team in 2019, missed his entire rookie season due to injury and then missed six games the following season also due to injury. He played every game in 2021 and showed potential but then regressed in 2022. Unfortunately, the team had already picked up his fifth-year option so he's due over $12 million this year.
That's precisely why cutting Williams isn't an option. He's getting $12 million from the Bengals whether he plays or not. That contract is also why it'll be difficult to trade Williams, as he's set to make that kind of money despite not playing all that well.
Jonah Williams has requested a trade from the Bengals
The plan at the two tackle spots seemed somewhat simple: Brown starts at left tackle, Williams moves to right tackle, and La'el Collins is a cap casualty. That might not be the case anymore with this Williams trade request and the Bengals might end up having to keep Collins as an insurance policy.
Just because Williams has requested a trade does not mean that the Bengals have to honor it. They gain nothing by cutting him and if no team swoops in and offers up a decent draft pick for his services, they won't be moving on from him.
Anyone saying Williams is worth more than a Day 3 draft pick is delusional, as he's entering the final year of his pricey contract, and is injury-prone. He's only been healthy for one entire season and this past season, he led the league in sacks allowed. No one is giving up a Day 2 pick for that, or at least they shouldn't.
I don't see Williams getting his way here but maybe teams look at the success the Bengals have had over the past two years and think Williams was a big part of that. Who knows what goes on inside the front office people's heads?
Either way, things got really interesting for the Bengals.