NFL Rumors: Cincinnati Bengals Tackle Jonah Williams Drawing Trade Interest

The Cincinnati Bengals made one of the most surprising splashes of free agency when they signed four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown to a four-year, $64 million pact, and it may send their current blindside protector packing. According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Jonah Williams has requested a trade and has already drawn interest from multiple suitors.

Williams joined the Bengals as their 11th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Including the playoffs, he has started 47 of a possible 73 games. He peaked in 2021, starting 16 games in the regular season and earning a solid 77.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his efforts.

Williams' draft pedigree and involvement with the Bengals' successful offense (7th in scoring in 2021 and 2022) should merit him some looks around the league, but he's unlikely to find a situation that would be to his liking. His history of injuries and mostly mediocre play will likely keep him from landing a lucrative extension; he'll probably have to play out his fifth-year option and test free agency next year. 

Given his current standing in the league, Williams shouldn't merit more than a mid-round pick via trade. It may serve him (and the Bengals) to play out the final year of his contract. With a solid and healthy season, he should land a much more substantial offer than what's likely available now. The Bengals could eventually land a third-round compensatory pick for him if he leaves via free agency, and it's hard to believe he would fetch any more than that right now in a trade.

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