Buccaneers, Redskins nearly made a Trent Williams, O.J. Howard swap
According to a report, the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly swung a deal to exchange O.J. Howard for Trent Williams.
So, you know that hypothetical trade that many have pitched about swapping Trent Williams for O.J. Howard? Well, apparently, it almost happened.
Apparently, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins reportedly discussed a trade a couple of months ago that would’ve sent the disgruntled tackle to the Bucs while sending the fourth-year tight end to the Redskins.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported the news in a story about Rob Gronkowski joining the Buccaneers.
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"A source told ESPN that the Bucs were in discussions to trade Howard two months ago to the Washington Redskins in exchange for offensive tackle Trent Williams, but talks fell through."
It’s unclear why talks fell through, but it’s fair to wonder if it had something to do with the team’s pursuit of Tom Brady. The squad had enough cap space to pursue Brady and franchise Shaq Barrett, but had they traded for Williams, they would’ve been short on cap space. That would’ve limited their ability to add complementary players and would’ve eliminated the possibility of the team trading for Gronkowski.
That’s one factor as to why the deal may have fallen through. The other piece of the puzzle? The 2020 NFL Draft is strong at the tackle position. So, perhaps the Bucs are hoping that they can find a right tackle of the future as opposed to taking a chance on a higher-priced option who hasn’t played a game since 2018. That’s not to say that Williams wouldn’t be an upgrade for the Bucs, but they may be able to get a longer-term upgrade at a cheaper price.
Or maybe the teams simply couldn’t agree on a fair price for the exchange. That would be the simplest but most likely reason that the teams didn’t swing the deal.
Perhaps if the Bucs change their tune and do want Williams, a deal involving Howard could still take place. But with the price of Williams being driven up by win-now teams that want a proven tackle, it may be harder for them to acquire Williams. And with so little cap space available, the Bucs will probably just stick with what they have and try to land one of the “Big 4” tackles in the draft.
As for the Redskins, they’ll likely move Williams at some point in the coming days. And the price they get should be a good indicator of whether or not they made the right move passing on a deal for Howard.