The Bengals to former Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. this week, signing the Pro Bowler to a four-year, $64 million deal, including a record $31M signing bonus for an offensive lineman. As a result, Cincinnati could be losing one of its other top blockers. With Brown set to protect Joe Burrow’s blind side, incumbent left tackle Jonah Williams has requested a trade from the Bengals.
The Bengals have had conversations centered around trading Williams, according to NFL Media. Outside interest has grown, according to the report, as several teams have reached out to the Bengals about a possible trade for Williams.
Due $12.6 million on the last year of his rookie contract, Williams would save the Bengals that entire 2023 salary cap hit if traded before the season.
Drafted No. 11 overall out of Alabama in 2019, Williams missed his entire rookie season due to a shoulder injury, then an additional six games the following year. He’s totaled 42 starts over his last three seasons, however, serving as a mainstay along Cincy’s front. The 25-year-old graded out as an average blocker in 2022, per PFF, but would likely have a market as an experienced left tackle.
Should the Bengals unload Williams after acquiring Brown, the team could keep former Cowboys starter La’el Collins at right tackle. Collins was widely identified as a potential cap casualty, due more than $9M in 2023.