If the Cincinnati Bengals are going to be able to win the AFC for the second time in three years, it will be because of the team’s offensive line play. The team’s front office knows it.
And so does Joe Burrow. That’s why the Bengals acquired Orlando Brown, Jr. during the offseason. But in doing so, Cincinnati also unnerved Jonah Williams, who has been the team’s starting left tackle since 2020.
The plan was for Brown to play on the left side and for Williams to shift over to right tackle, which he played at the University of Alabama. That didn’t sit right with Williams, who requested a trade. Williams has not been at the team’s voluntary offseason workouts.
Bengals reporter Kelsey Conway reported on Tuesday that Williams would attend any of the team’s mandatory activities and play out the 2023 seasons as Cincinnati’s right tackle.
While a blockbuster trade was explored with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bengals expect Williams to return. And so does Burrow, who sent a clear message to Williams, who was absent for Tuesday’s team’s open practice.
“We love Jonah,” said Burrow about Williams’ offseason trade request via NBC 5 Cincinnati’s Charlie Clifford. “He was a big part of our success for the last couple of years, so hopefully, we can have him back. But, whatever he thinks is best for his career is what he’s going to do.
“We’ll support him with whatever he decides.” Joe Burrow understands the business aspect of the game, but at the same time, he was quite clear that he would like Williams back in the fold if possible.