When the Cincinnati Bengals made a big splash, signing Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency, we knew they had their new left tackle of the future.
Many thought this meant former first round pick Jonah Williams would move from left tackle to right tackle, where he played in college at Alabama during his freshman year. Some have thought he would be better on the right side his entire career.
That does not appear to be the plan, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Williams has requested a trade out of Cincinnati.
This is something we are starting to see more frequently in the NFL. With the difference in contracts for left and right tackles, a player would rarely want to change positions.
In fact, that was part of Brown’s dispute with the Baltimore Ravens. Brown was playing right tackle, then was forced into action at left tackle. After that stint, he decided he wanted to stay on the left side and be paid as such. It appears Williams wants to follow the same sort of path.
Rarely are legit starting LTs available. But circumstances have changed in Cincy. Jonah Williams is due $12.6M guaranteed on his 5th year option. https://t.co/pkmT4QxS31— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2023
Williams’ career in Cincinnati has been unfortunately a letdown. As the 11th overall pick in 2019, injuries and inconsistent play have stopped him from becoming what his potential showed he can be.
The Bengals aren’t usually quick to trade players on the roster just because they asked for it, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. But hopefully, something will happen before or during the 2023 NFL Draft.