He may not play at all in 2019, but Jonah Williams is still who the Bengals hope is their franchise left tackle moving forward.
The 11th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams came to Cincinnati after a standout career with the Alabama Crimson Tide. He became one of the best linemen in all of college football last season as he anchored down the left side of Alabama’s offensive line.
Not long after the Bengals drafted Williams, he was already being inserted into the offense as the starting left tackle for OTAs. Unfortunately, Williams would suffer a torn labrum in his shoulder labrum that will likely cost him all of his rookie season.
It’s an unfortunate setback, but the good news for Williams is he’ll still be paid nicely in 2019 and beyond. Here is a look at his rookie contract via Over The Cap:
Though he likely won’t play a down of football this year, Williams will still count for over $3 million against the Bengals’ cap space. He’ll have an average annual salary of over $4.4 million.
And as per usual with first-round picks, Williams has a fifth-year option that the Bengals can choose to exercise prior to his fourth season. That fifth year is worth the average of the third through 25th-highest salaries at the position. In 2019, that would pay him around $10 million.
Here’s to hoping Williams is able to live up to his first-round billing and become the franchise tackle the Bengals desperately need.