Trent Williams says he was prepared to return to Redskins last season before NFI placement
Williams was much closer to returning to Washington than people imagined
The Trent Williams saga officially ended when the Washington Redskins made the decision to deal him to the San Francisco 49ers during the 2020 NFL Draft, but details are still emerging about what really happened in Washington. During a recent episode on the RapSheet and Friends podcast — which will be released Tuesday — Williams revealed that while it appeared inevitable he was going to be dealt to a new franchise, he was planning on returning to the Redskins before one final decision irked him.
Williams returned to the Redskins' facilities after the team failed to deal him before the 2019 trade deadline, but management made the decision to place him on the reserve/non football injury list — which effectively ended his season. With this roster move, Williams was not able to play in any remaining games, and the Redskins did not have to pay his 2019 salary.
"The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year," Williams said, via NFL.com. "I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field. I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best they know how competitive I am.
"I was under the impression my new helmet was coming in that Tuesday, and then I was put on the NFI that Saturday, I believe, or Friday, I don't remember. I was put on NFI right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there. It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out."
When the Redskins took to the field to practice that Wednesday, Williams was absent. The seven-time Pro Bowler was in the building for his physical earlier in the day, which previous reports indicated that he passed. Interim head coach Bill Callahan told reporters after practice that Williams actually did not pass his physical.
"Unfortunately, today he couldn't practice, he did not pass the physical," said Callahan. "There was discomfort with his helmet and the fitting of it so that's where we're at as of today."
Williams had maintained that he was not going to play for the Redskins ever again, but his returning to the team facilities was a good sign the holdout could potentially come to an end. As Williams noted above, it was difficult for him to step away from the teammates he cared about so much, and was just waiting on a new helmet before making a final decision. Unfortunately, the Redskins made the final decision for him before he received his new headgear.