Williams: Cancer scare to blame for Redskins rift

NFL

ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams says he no longer trusts the organization and feels they were vindictive in how they waited until the last minute to try to trade him. He also remains upset over how long he said it took the team to take care of a cancerous growth on his scalp.

Williams, who ended his holdout Tuesday, spoke publicly for the first time since the end of last season — and held little back.

“There’s no trust there,” Williams said. “There are some things that happened that are hard to look past.”

Williams said he held out because he was upset with the medical staff, though he didn’t name anyone in particular, and because the Redskins wouldn’t give him more guaranteed money in the last two years of his contract. It expires after the 2020 season.

But it wasn’t until he had a cancer scare that he wanted to end his relationship with the organization. Williams said he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). Williams said he first asked the Redskins’ medical staff about the growth on his head six years ago, but he said nothing was done until this offseason.

“I was told it was something minor so I didn’t really question them,” he said. “But I mean the lump continued to grow over the years, it was concerning but there was no pain involved, and if I’m being told by the very people I put my career in the hands of, people are telling me I’m fine, I’m fine. That’s how I looked at it.”

But this offseason he was told he needed surgery to remove the growth, and that put him on a different course.

“It was cancer. I had a tumor removed from my skull — attached to my skull — it got pretty serious for a second,” Williams said. “I was told some scary things from the doctors. It was definitely nothing to play with. It was one of those things that will change your outlook on life.”

Williams’ scalp remains sensitive from the surgery; he underwent his first one in January and he had two follow-up cosmetic procedures in the spring. Williams told the team in the spring that he no longer wanted to play for them. But the Redskins had told teams the price tag to obtain Williams was high — and they did not try to aggressively shop him until before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

“I mean, when you give them 48 hours to strike a deal it probably isn’t going to happen,” he said. “I just felt like that was done to embarrass me, try to make it feel like, ‘Ain’t nobody want you; you’re not good enough for us to trade for.’ I felt like that was the play more so than to get me moved.”

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