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Bengals' Zac Taylor expects Jonah Williams to move to right tackle despite trade request

The Cincinnati Bengals' signing of Orlando Brown to play left tackle caused incumbent Jonah Williams to request a trade.

Despite the former first-round pick's desire to move out of town, coach Zac Taylor said Monday at the Annual League Meeting that he anticipates Williams just moving four positions down -- to right tackle.  

"I like everything about Jonah. I'm excited to see him come in and compete at right tackle," Taylor said, via the team's official website. "He's always been everything we wanted him to be about. We've never had issues with him. Hopefully, we can work through this, and he can come in and compete at right tackle for us. That's what we're counting on him to do … He's never been an issue and I don't anticipate that being an issue."

The Bengals got a good deal with Brown coming over from Kansas City. He might not be a Trent Williams-type blind-side blocker, but he's solid and an immediate upgrade over Williams, who has struggled in that spot, including allowing 12 sacks in 2022, tied for most in the league, per Pro Football Focus.

Likely part of the calculus in adding Brown was the ability to shift Williams over to the right side after incumbent La'el Collins -- last offseason's splash signing -- went down with an ACL tear in December. Taylor expects Williams to battle Jackson Carman to replace Collins, at least to open the season.

Taylor acknowledged there is a transition period going from one side of the line to the other but believes Williams can make the move.

"I played quarterback, so I'm not going to sit there and pretend that I've got experience moving (on the offensive line)," Taylor said. "I know that there are some reps that need to take place to feel completely comfortable with that, but most of these guys have done it at some point in their careers. So they've at least got experience doing it and that's just the way it will go for us."

Taylor's comments don't categorically mean the Bengals won't acquiesce to Williams' trade request. But it does mean the club isn't just giving him away for pennies on the dollar.

With Williams set to earn $12.604 million fully guaranteed in the final year of his rookie contract, coupled with his play, no one is likely to offer a ton of draft capital to pry him away from Cincy. Moreover, with the Bengals looking to make another deep playoff run, sending offensive linemen out of town doesn't behoove them given their struggles there.

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