On Thursday afternoon, the Washington Redskins placed Trent Williams on the non-football injury list, effectively ending his season. It's been a long road to get here, so if you've been out of the loop, here's a timeline of how it all went down over the last six months.
The first sign something was amiss came back in June, when the Redskins held their first team minicamp and Williams was nowhere to be seen. The assumption held at the time was that Williams was seeking a new contract, a fair one to make, considering he's 31 and the Redskins were not expected to be good before the season began. When Jay Gruden was asked about the holdout, he said it was "something personal between him and his agent and the organization."
Minicamp was also the first time there were rumblings that something more was afoot, as Jason La Canfora reported Williams wanted a trade or release after the team mishandled his medical situation. At the time, it seemed like a big jump to make from a holdout for a new contract to an . entirely different dispute, but time proved La Canfora correct.
Training camp rolled around, and there was still no sign of Williams. Mike Garofolo and Ian Rapoport both reported Williams planned to hold out for the duration of camp, and an end wasn't in sight. Despite all this, Washington insisted Williams was not available for trade, as reported by Adam Schefter.
Training camp ended and the regular season was underway. Still, Williams wasn't around. Rapoport said Williams would not be playing in Week 1. That was the last anyone heard of the situation for a full month, as Williams continued to hold out. In early October, Bruce Allen said there hasn't been any dialogue for a trade, as reported by Albert Breer.
As the trade deadline grew near in October, the rumor mill began to heat up. The team most commonly linked to Williams were the Browns, who were struggling with pass protection and losing games as a result. GM John Dorsey said he had discussions with Allen about a possible trade, but concluded that particular press conference with "It takes two to tango."
On the eve of the deadline, Rapoport broke the news that the Redskins were, in fact, willing to tango with a potential Williams trade. However, it was later reported Washington was "big-game hunting" for Williams, and asked for young stud Denzel Ward in a potential trade with Cleveland. As Rapoport noted, it was a non-starter, and the Browns were not particularly interested in such a swap. Given the asking price was so high, it came as no surprise that Williams was not traded ahead of the deadline.
End of Holdout
Williams reported to the Washington facility the day after the trade deadline. But JP Finlay reported shortly afterwards that Williams had no intention of suiting up, even if his holdout was over. Then came the news that Williams had failed his first physical due to a helmet issue, an extremely unusual circumstance (to say the least).
The week of his failed physical, Williams spoke to the press for the first time since his holdout began, and gave more information on the situation. He said the team doctors had misdiagnosed a growth on his head five years ago that turned into a "piece of a tumor", and he had to have surgery over this offseason as a result.
That then led to the news today that Williams was placed on the NFI list. We will almost assuredly never see Williams in a Washington uniform again, and it remains to be seen if he will play football again, and if he does, what jersey he'll be wearing.