The Washington Redskins told Trent Williams, their unhappy left tackle, that he's free to call around the league and seek a trade. And he already knows the Jets are interested.
Just how interested Jets GM Joe Douglas will be, though, will depend on the Redskins' asking price.
If the price is right, the 31-year-old Williams could be exactly what Douglas needs to kick off the rebuilding of the Jets' barren offensive line. A perennial Pro Bowler, who missed last season due to both a contract dispute and surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his head, he could be an anchor on the left side of a Jets' offensive line that could end up being very young overall this season.
It's all about the price, though. Last year, when Williams was holding out, the Redskins shopped him around and, according to NFL sources, were seeking a first-round pick. It's not clear what they'll be asking for this time around, but one source said "they'll probably have to lower their expectations" and maybe ask for a second-rounder instead.
That could be an issue for the Jets, since their second-round pick is 48th overall - about the middle of the round. But they do have two third-round picks (68th, thanks to the Giants and Leonard Williams, and 79th). That could allow them to at least try to get creative to entice the Redskins into a deal.
It's unclear if that would be enough, though, since the Redskins will likely have several teams interested in making a deal. The Cleveland Browns were reportedly interested last year when the price was a first-rounder, and a source expected them to be high on the list again.
Regardless, the cost of adding Williams is more than just the pick. The seven-time Pro Bowler is due a salary of $12.5 million in 2020 and is seeking a new, long-term contract that figures to be worth in the $14-15 million per year range. Based on his ability, he's worth it, but that was before he missed all of last season in part because of his desire for a new contract, and in part because he had surgery to remove a growth from his head from a cancer he identified as Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP).
After ending his holdout and returning to the Redskins in October, he failed a physical because, he said, he was unable to find a helmet to fit comfortably over his head, since he was still healing from the surgery. He expected that wouldn't be an issue anymore for the 2020 season.
So picks and at least $12.5 million are a high price to pay, but the Jets are in a desperate search for offensive linemen. They are expected to be in on the chase for free agent right tackle Jack Conklin, but he's expected to land more than $18 million per year and the Jets are not considered the favorites to get him. Williams could be a cheaper option, and it would allow them to start the tackle they are expected to draft at No. 11 on the right side.
As SNY has reported, many around the NFL believe it would be a "shock" if Douglas doesn't select an offensive lineman at No. 11. He's also expected to be very interested in the free-agent market for guards, with his eyes on New England's Joe Thuney or Detroit's Graham Glasgow. He also appears to have an interest in bringing veteran Brian Winters back at a reduced price, if his shoulder has recovered enough for him to pass a physical.