The Redskins had held firm to their trade demands for Williams, and sources said his value on the market wasn't what many had expected. They wanted at least a first-round pick or a playmaker, and no offers came close to that. They did inquire about the availability of Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward, but that was quickly rejected.
That left Williams with a choice: either report or continue his holdout and possibly not get credit for a season played. Because he was on the reserve/did not report list, Williams needed to report by the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline Tuesday or the team would have to apply to the commissioner's office for his reinstatement. The Redskins could then have kept Williams on that list by not applying for his reinstatement. But by reporting a few minutes before 4 p.m., Williams made that irrelevant.
There's a good chance the Redskins could look to trade Williams in the offseason, according to multiple sources. Because they didn't feel his market value was strong now, they could try again closer to the draft. According to multiple sources, the Redskins' belief is that when teams know their draft standing and know what tackles they might be able to get in the draft, Washington might be able to get more value. The Redskins believe that's the case whether Williams has one or two years left on his contract, mainly because any team trading for him likely would give him an immediate extension anyway.
Williams never publicly spoke during his holdout, so the exact reasons behind it remain unclear, but numerous sources close to him said it stemmed from his medical treatment involving a growth on his head. There were other issues related to the medical staff, though it is uncertain where his dissatisfaction was directed -- or whether it was about the Redskins' training staff. Williams had told teammates and members of the coaching staff that he did not want to play for the team again, according to multiple sources.
Team sources said his contract played a big role in the holdout. Williams has two years remaining on his deal, though he has no guaranteed money beyond this season. This year he has a base salary of $10.85 million with $1.9 million in bonuses. His base salary next year is $12.5 million.
The Redskins did not want to extend his deal, sources said, because it would set a bad precedent. They feared other players with two years left on their deals, such as linebacker Ryan Kerrigan this year and tackle Morgan Moses next year, would want similar extensions.
Veteran Donald Penn has been a solid fill-in for Williams and certainly hasn't been a big problem for the offense. Rather, the 1-7 Redskins have struggled with consistency at quarterback and health at tight end, among other things. They fired coach Jay Gruden after a Week 5 loss to the New England Patriots.
Still, if Williams does end up playing, he will be a boost for Washington during the final stretch of the season. The seven-time Pro Bowler's athleticism allows Washington to expand its playbook with various runs and screens, based on his ability to block in space.
The holdout was an expensive one for Williams. He was fined at least $1.2 million this summer. He also lost 25% of his signing bonus proration for missing camp and another 25% for missing the first game. He missed eight game checks at $638,000 per week as well. All totaled, the holdout cost him approximately $7 million.