Jags, Bengals reportedly discussed Williams trade

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine the report Jonah Williams was the center of conversation between the Jags and Bengals before the draft and discuss how Joe Burrow has elevated himself this offseason.

Video Transcript

MIKE FLORIO: Tackle Orlando Brown left for the Bengals via free agency, which created an instant question about Jonah Williams, who wanted out. A report has surfaced that the Jaguars and the Bengals discussed a Jonah Williams trade before the draft. It didn't happen. Williams making $12.6 million on his 5th year option this year.

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They're just going to flip him over to the right side and put Orlando Brown on the left side. But it makes me think something could still happen. Still, you've got to protect Joey B.


MIKE FLORIO: You've got to keep these guys in place. And if it's just a matter of one more year with Jonah Williams, and then they tag and trade him or let him walk away in free agency-- and I could see them tag him for a year. The Bengals have never been a team to shy away from using every right they have available to them under the CBA.


MIKE FLORIO: We'll tag you. You're here. You're going to get X million dollars or don't play. And if you don't want to play, fine.


We did it with Carson Palmer, we'll do it with you. Just go sit in the corner if you don't want to play. And the bottom line is they need that help around Joe Burrow to keep him in one piece.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, they do. And like we see with the Kansas City Chiefs and how much of an effort they made to reorganize or repurpose all their assets after a bad Super Bowl and not protecting their quarterback, they've gone all in and that's changed their football team here slowly but surely. The Bengals, same type of thing. A little last year that got them better.

Now Orlando Brown, franchise type guy, and Jonah Williams now you can play with. Hey, wait, we got five or seven starting offensive linemen and we can play the best five, and that's the good thing there. But yeah, even with that, their offensive line turn the corner of the end of the year, but it still wasn't-- I don't think anybody was looking at the Bengals offensive line and going, oh wow, that's a special one there, or that's a top five unit in football. Nowhere near that.

And you said it right. I mean, you've got a special quarterback. They depend on throwing the ball down the field. And then last year, they couldn't run the ball at all either.


So just think about that. If they had really a legit run game to go along with all they can do in the pass game, they're close to being extremely dangerous. We know that and yeah, you're right. I mean, they're not going to let Jonah Williams out the door right now.

MIKE FLORIO: Did you see the video I sent yesterday of Joe Burrow?

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, Joe B. Yeah.

MIKE FLORIO: My God, he may not need any blockers. That guy's jacked. He went from looking like Macaulay Culkin to John Rambo.

CHRIS SIMMS: It's in him, right? Like when I was there last spring at the end of the OTAs and stuff, first off, as always, and you always bring this up with me or whoever, he's a much bigger guy than you realize, right? When you get in there, he's taller than me and you think I'm big, right?


MIKE FLORIO: I don't think you're big.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, I am big.

MIKE FLORIO: And I'm not small. 5' 11 and 3/4, folks. He can attest to it.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, yeah.

MIKE FLORIO: But this guy's a giant. He just slid down from a beanstalk this morning and walked over here and filled his mug with hot water. You should start pouring the hot water down from the beanstalk.

CHRIS SIMMS: That's right. That's right. It's fresh beanstalk water.

MIKE FLORIO: Look at that.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, he's jacked. It's in him and it looks like he now, a smart guy who I learned who evaluates himself after the season every year and where he thinks he needs to be better. Now, I guarantee he played under the weight he wanted to last year.


MIKE FLORIO: Is that too ripped? Is that too big for a quarterback?

CHRIS SIMMS: I don't think so, but you're starting to get to the point of, hey, you don't need to be any tighter than there or just that's about the right look. That would be the look I'd want to go for. I think he played under weight last year though, because of the appendectomy, right? So he never really got the weight back. He's super into his health.

MIKE FLORIO: Hopefully he can avoid that again this year.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, hopefully he can. And, hey--

MIKE FLORIO: I'm kidding. You only have one.

CHRIS SIMMS: You only have one. But he takes a beating, right? And he hangs in the pocket and he tries to make plays going. So he's put a little armor on him. You only have one.


MIKE FLORIO: It's funny, between him and Josh Allen, I really do think that they both have made this commitment.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right, saw changes in their body.

MIKE FLORIO: Pat Mahomes like.


MIKE FLORIO: What we can't get past him, we have to take it on ourselves to upgrade ourselves, to do what we have to do. This Mahomes-Burrow feud I think really is--


MIKE FLORIO: --the one to watch.

CHRIS SIMMS: I think so. I think it's a real feud.

MIKE FLORIO: You've detected that, some of the things. Like Mahomes has that very charming way of making a point and it doesn't come off as snarky, although when you think about it, there's a little something there.



MIKE FLORIO: You think that for some reason Burrow gets under Mahomes skin?

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, I think he's the only guy in football, other than maybe Tom Brady, where you can live with that a little bit where he'd go, wait, that guy's got my number. He's got my number and he doesn't even seem like he's kind of arrogant and just beats us and then just goes on like we're nothing, right? I think there's a little of that and they take that personal in Kansas City.

I do. And then with the Joe Burrow and the way the year ended last year, and I'm him and all that, I think it did get personal. Where it was like, whoa, you're getting up here towards the top of Mount Everest with me and I don't like this and I'd like to put you back down there a little bit.


MIKE FLORIO: That whole Burrowhead Stadium thing--


MIKE FLORIO: Really bugged them.


MIKE FLORIO: The victory cigars bugged Mahomes. And they used all of that.


MIKE FLORIO: And that's the thing, they act like they don't listen. They listen because they use anything they can to get themselves more focused. And when you are the Kings of the Hill, you have to find anything that you possibly can to get you properly focused and motivated, and something woke up the Chiefs in that game. And really, Chris Jones, who's trying to get a new contract, he's the one that, at a time when I thought it was inevitable the Bengals were going to go down the field and win the game and go back to the Super Bowl again, Jones is the one that kept--


CHRIS SIMMS: Made the play.

MIKE FLORIO: --from happening and then Mahomes did his thing with the Joseph Ossai hit out of bounds. Before you know it, field goal range, game over. It just happened so fast. It's like, the Bengals are going to do this. The Bengals are going to do this. The Bengals are going to do this.

Oh, Chris Jones stopped that. OK, now the Chiefs have it. We're going to overtime. We're going to overtime. Oh crap, we're not going to overtime. The Chiefs are going to win. And that's it and they go to the Super Bowl.

It's so hard. I was talking about this last night. You're not just threading a needle, you're threading, like, four needles to win the Super Bowl, especially in the AFC. You've got to make everything go your way in the wild card round, unless you're the one team that gets a bye.

Then you got to make everything go your way in the division round, then you've got to thread it again in the conference championship, then you've got to thread it again in the Super Bowl. I mean, it is harder and harder and harder. It's easier in the NFC side, because the needle is bigger to get there. You still got to thread the last one and the Eagles failed to do it last year. But that's why, yeah, the Chiefs have two and how many more are they going to get? I don't know, but it's a hell of a lot of work to get one and--

CHRIS SIMMS: They need to--

MIKE FLORIO: --don't assume that they're going to get another one any time soon because you got to keep threading those needle.

CHRIS SIMMS: Exactly. And that's where I think the chippiness and them finding motivation, right? That's what great teams do, they find that, like you said, just that little extra fuel to keep this going. Yeah, we want to be great, we want more Super Bowls, all that, but there's other things you need to have to light the fire on a weekly basis during a long football season where your body gets beat to crap.

One other thing too, just to bring up about the whole subject with Jonah Williams and the trade conversations maybe with the Jags. I do find it interesting, though, that it does seem like it showed me within that talk in that report that the Jags were maybe a little concerned about their O-line or maybe their tackle position, the fact that they lost Jawaan Taylor. They had a guy who they drafted--

MIKE FLORIO: Cam Robinson's got a suspension coming.

CHRIS SIMMS: Cam Robinson's got a suspension coming, so there's an issue there for sure there. There's a little concern there and that certainly leads you to believe that with that talk and Jonah Williams.

MIKE FLORIO: Anton Harrison from Oklahoma, a tackle they picked with the 27th overall selection. And look, they're the ones trying to thread a needle too. I mean, they thought they had the Chiefs on the ropes after Patrick Mahomes suffered the ankle injury and Trevor Lawrence--

CHRIS SIMMS: They did.

MIKE FLORIO: --becoming one of the guys who we kind of believe-- It'll be interesting, we start your Chris Simms Top 40 Quarterback Countdown today. You started yesterday on your podcast, but I have a feeling you're going to have Lawrence a lot closer to 1 than 40, a lot closer to 1 than 40.

CHRIS SIMMS: No question.

MIKE FLORIO: A lot closer to 1 than 20. Maybe a lot closer to 1 than 10. But they need to protect him too.

And although he's already pretty jacked. I mean, that neck, my God, it looks like a snake with a pig trapped in its gullet, that neck. But he's a guy that they need to keep healthy, they need to have him be effective and he's going to potentially enter this conversation with Mahomes and Burrow and Allen.

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh yeah. I mean, if he continues to play like he did last year, we're going to be talking about this next offseason just like Herbert and Burrow and everybody. I mean, that's where we're going to go.

And yeah, they're a team that like we know and Doug Pederson coming from Philadelphia, he believes in having a big offensive line. That's what won them the Super Bowl in 2017, when they beat the Patriots. It was one of the reasons they turned things around last year. They were able to protect and open up holes for Travis Etienne and there was no team in football that they were over-matched by up front, like we talk about all the time, and that's a positive for them. But yeah, there's obviously a little concern there and we'll see where it goes with the Jags O-line.