Pro Bowler Trent Williams absent as Redskins begin minicamp

Another phase of the offseason program began on Tuesday at Redskins Park, as players participated in a mandatory minicamp. All players, except one, were in town.

The one?

A pretty big one: seven-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams, who skipped Tuesday’s session as he looks to renegotiate his contract. Williams has two years remaining on a five-year, $66 million contract he signed in 2015. That deal made him the highest-paid tackle in the league — the deal now ranks fourth in the league.

“We have been talking to Trent a little bit here and there,” head coach Jay Gruden said after practice. “As far as holding out for whatever reasons, that is between Trent and (Senior VP of Football Operations) Eric (Schaffer) and (GM) Bruce (Allen). Hopefully, we’ll get it all situated soon and get him back here.”

Williams is still recovering from offseason surgery in which he had a growth removed from his scalp, so he would not have participated on Tuesday according to Gruden.

The disadvantage without Williams was obvious.

“Well he is the best tackle in pro football,” Gruden said. “He’s a great player for us, a great leader. We would love to have him here without a doubt. I know his teammates support him and we support him without a doubt, but hopefully we get it situated where he comes back.”

Williams’ absence didn’t sound like it came as a surprise to the team, which Gruden eluded to.

“I talked to him a little while ago,” said Gruden. “This is personal between him and his agent and our organization, and we will handle it accordingly. Trent knows we all want him back. I want him back in the worst way and I know his teammates want him back in the worst way, but at the end of the day there is a business side of pro football and that’s what he is about right now. So, we will find out what happens.”

Adrian Peterson, who is close friends with Williams and trains with him in Houston, didn’t seem surprised by it either, saying he had a “pretty good idea” that Williams wouldn’t be there Tuesday.

“It is what it is,” Peterson said. “He’s a professional, his film speaks for itself. I do know when he gets back he’ll be ready to roll.”

Due to injuries or suspensions, Williams hasn’t played 16 games since 2013 but has continued to make the Pro Bowl every year.

Other notes from practice Tuesday:

– Last year’s summer standout Cam Sims had a very good day catching the ball. He had some highlight catches, including beating new safety acquisition Landon Collins for a long touchdown.

– Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin showed off some speed and catching ability.

– Case Keenum seemed to have a better, more consistent day than rookie Dwayne Haskins

– Josh Norman looked good in his first action of the offseason. He has skipped the voluntary portion of workouts this summer.

The Redskins have two more days of minicamp this week followed by one more week of OTA’s. They will then take their final break before training camp.

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