Williams is expected to move from left tackle, where he's been up-and-down over 42 starts in the past three seasons after missing his entire rookie campaign, to right tackle, where La’el Collins is still recovering from a torn ACL.
Asked Tuesday about the OT's status, star quarterback Joe Burrow said he respects Williams' decision -- however the situation plays out.
"We love Jonah," Burrow said. "Jonah's been a big part of our success for the last couple of years. So, hopefully, we have him back. But business is business. Whatever Jonah thinks is best for his career is what he's going to do. And we'll support him in whatever he decides."
Williams is progressing from offseason knee surgery. He's been absent from voluntary workouts, but is reportedly expected to show up for mandatory sessions.
Playing on the fifth-year option, Williams is set to make $12.604 million fully guaranteed in 2023. The figure, coupled with his uneven play, likely led to the lack of trade action ahead of the draft. A trade could still come down before the season, especially if injury strikes a contender. However, given their own O-line injury issues, the Bengals aren't a club that should be looking to dump a capable blocker.
The most likely outcome, at this point, is Cincy retains Williams, and the offensive tackle begrudgingly moves to right tackle and helps keep Burrow upright in 2023.