The Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars were in talks earlier this offseason regarding a trade involving Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams.
According to Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway, the Jaguars had expressed “real interest” in acquiring Williams prior to the 2023 NFL Draft, but the Bengals ultimately decided to keep him on the team.
The latest on #Bengals Jonah Williams:
Jags had real interest in making a trade for Jonah. Cincy & JAX had talks prior to the draft, per a source. Bengals opted not to move him.
Jonah is expected to participate in the mandatory activities & play this season in Cincy at RT
— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) May 15, 2023
Conway adds that Williams is expected to participate in the team’s mandatory activities and play this season at right tackle. This news comes after Williams previously requested a trade following the Bengals’ signing of former Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown in free agency to a four-year, $64 million contract.
Williams, the 11th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has started every game of his career at left tackle. However, with the acquisition of Brown, Williams is expected to move to the right side of the offensive line for the upcoming season. The move will give the Bengals two veteran tackles with starting experience, which should benefit the team across the board.
If Williams had been traded to the Jaguars, he would have provided a boost to their offensive line. The Jaguars have been looking to improve their offensive line but ultimately drafted OT Anton Harrison in the Draft. Acquiring Williams would have been another step in the right direction, as he is mostly considered to be a solid and reliable tackle.
Although Williams’ future with the Bengals remains uncertain, he is expected to play a key role for the team this season. With Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins all needing contract extensions, the Bengals will have to make some tough decisions regarding their roster in the near future.
Whether or not Williams is a part of the team’s long-term plans remains to be seen, but for now, he will be a valuable asset for Cincinnati’s offensive line.