On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Bengals made a large addition to their team, signing Orlando Brown Jr. to be the team’s new starting left tackle. This seemingly set off a chain reaction, with Joe Burrow‘s previous blindside protector Jonah Williams requesting a trade out of town just two days later.
While the Bengals may have been looking to add Brown with the hopes of strengthening their entire offensive line instead of just the left side, they now may be heavily weighing trading their 11th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft instead.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, there is certainly “some interest” in the 25-year-old, and the Bengals could reportedly trade Williams “very soon.”
This situation is further complicated by the fact that Williams is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is set to make $12.6 million in 2023. Any team looking to trade for the tackle likely will want to have more long-term security before being willing to part with a significant amount of compensation.
But with many of the top free-agent offensive linemen already signed, the interest in trading for Williams may only grow as the days go on. That effect could be twofold once the 2023 NFL Draft comes around and teams miss out on their top target. Chances are the Bengals will want to have this situation shored up well ahead of the start of the NFL Draft, which goes back to why Rapoport indicated a trade agreement could be near.
We may not know if Williams will be donning the Bengals stripes again next season, but we do know Orlando Brown will be tasked with keeping Joe Burrow upright, and the team’s offensive line coach Frank Pollack couldn’t be any more excited about the change.