As the Washington Redskins head into free agency after nearly clinching a playoff spot for the second-straight year, we will look at some of Washington’s key players and grade their 2016 performance.
Player: Trent Williams
Position: Left tackle
Contract status: $68 million/5 years, expires in 2021
Preseason buzz: In another year under Bill Callahan, Washington's offensive line was expected to contend as one of the best in the league starting with Williams. His rare combination of athleticism and size resulted in an expectation for highlight reel blocking in space on screen passes and stretch runs.
Ended 2016 like: When Williams was on the field, he was his usual dominant self. Sure he gave up a quarterback hurry or even a sack now and then, but for the most part he was winning his matchup in both the run and pass game play in and play out.
Season high: Outside of a Week 1 let down from the entire team on Monday Night Football, Trent Williams had just one penalty the rest of the season. That in it of itself is not necessarily a high, but an example of Williams' high-level consistency throughout the season. Williams was named to a first team All-Pro honor based on Pro Football Focus voters and made his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl after the 2016 season.
Season low: The undeniable low for Williams this season was when he was suspended four games for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse on November 1st. As a result, Williams played in just twelve games, his second fewest in his seven year career. There is no guarantee that Washington makes the playoffs if Williams is available for the entire season, but it certainly would not have hurt their chances.
If we were only talking about the games Williams played in, he would certainly earned an A, maybe even an A+, but having missed a quarter of the season he must take a hit on his evaluation. Even if Williams unknowingly took banned substances, he is now a repeat offender in the league's eyes, which may have also hurt his chances of making an Associated Press All-Pro team.
2017 expectations: Williams will stay clear of anymore league violations and get back to dominating the league's best pass rushers 16 times a year.
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.
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