The Cincinnati Bengals selected offensive tackle Jonah Williams 11th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft to be one of their core pieces.
After missing his rookie season with a shoulder injury, Williams was then tasked with protecting franchise quarterback Joe Burrow’s blindside over the past three years.
That could now soon come to an end. According to multiple media reports, the Bengals’ starting left tackle has opted to request a trade. Said trade request came shortly after Cincinnati signed four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a massive contract during NFL free agency.
Cincinnati had hoped that the 25-year-old Williams would be happy suiting up at right tackle as he continues to play out his rookie contract. That apparently isn’t the case.
Rarely does a young player at this position become available on the trade block. When we look at Williams’ body of work, that’s magnified further.
However, there is some concern over Williams’ ability in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s yielded a whopping 20 sacs over the past two seasons. Even then, we’re talking about a former first-round pick who has not hit his prime and has shown a nice amount of promise in his young career.
There’s going to be interest in the offensive tackle. Here, we look at four ideal Jonah Williams trade scenarios.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade rumors
Washington Commanders make move for left tackle
As of right now, Washington has veteran journeyman Charles Leno Jr. holding down the fort at left tackle. While Leno has played pretty well in that role in two seasons with the Commanders, he’s set to hit his Age-32 season.
Washington needs to find a left tackle of the future. That’s magnified with young quarterback Sam Howell being given the first crack at the starting job as he enters his sophomore season. Get him a franchise left tackle and watch the former North Carolina product flourish.
New England Patriots reinforce offensive line with Jonah Williams
Veteran Trent Brown is currently the Patriots’ starting left tackle with no succession plan in place. With Isaiah Wynn currently a free agency, New England signed washed veteran Riley Reiff to compete for the starting right tackle job.
To say that this is a less-than-ideal scenario for struggling young quarterback Mac Jones would be an understatement. While we have no idea what Cincinnati will demand for Williams, New England should get involved. Its two current starting tackles aren’t going to help this team improve after missing out on the playoffs two of the past three seasons in the post-Tom Brady era.
Related: NFL trade tracker with grades
Chicago Bears pull off blockbuster Jonah Williams trade
Chicago can’t be happy with Braxton Jones at left tackle after its offensive line struggled big time in pass protection in front of Justin Fields last season. The young quarterback was sacked a whopping 55 times.
The Bears have been active in adding reinforcements for Fields, including the signing of guard Nate Davis. However, they pushed back against signing the aforementioned Orlando Jones Jr. in free agency. General manager Ryan Poles just didn’t see it as a scheme fit. Now that the Bears boast a ton of extra draft capital after the trade down from the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft, using some of it to acquire Jonah Williams makes a ton of sense.
San Francisco 49ers find Trent Williams heir-apparent
Trent Williams remains the single best offensive lineman in the game today. He’s earned 10 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and two consecutive All-Pro honors. Williams will go down as an all-time great. He’s also 34 years old and briefly contemplated retirement following the 2022 season.
In this scenario, San Francisco adds Jonah Williams to play right tackle for the 2023 season. He then takes over for the older Williams once he opts to call it quits. It’s a perfect succession plan and something similar to when the 49ers replace a retiring Joe Staley with Trent Williams after the 2018 season. At least short term, San Francisco also has a need at right tackle after Mike McGlinchey signed a big-money deal with the Denver Broncos.
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