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Bengals' Jonah Williams backing off trade request, 'stoked' ahead of RT move: 'I'm going to crush it'

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams has backed off his trade request.

"I'll be happy to be a contributor on a team where I have so many great teammates," Williams told Geoff Hobson of the team's official website on Monday. "l love everyone in the room, love the coaches, love the fans. I'm stoked."

Williams requested a trade after the Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. to play left tackle. Cincy's brass rejected the request, insisting from the start that they planned to move Williams from left to right tackle to solidify a position in question, with La'el Collins unlikely to be ready for the start of the season.

Williams said his initial reaction wasn't anything against Brown.

"Watching the Chiefs, he's a great player. I'm happy to have him," Williams said. "No hard feelings or anything like that. I'm looking forward to getting to know him better."

Williams, a first-round pick in 2019, has been up and down throughout his career. He missed his entire rookie campaign due to injury and was knocked out of the Bengals' 2022 postseason run with a dislocated kneecap.

Williams said he thinks his knee will be "way better than 100 percent" entering the season and is currently focusing on the transition to right tackle. 

"As I'm coming back from my knee, I'm working with a lot of different moves in a lot of stressful situations," Williams said. "I'm incorporating my rehab into football drills working out of the right tackle stance.

"(The biggest adjustment) is re-learning everything for the other side of your body. Opposite stance. Post leg is your kick leg and vice versa and all that. It's nothing that reps and practice won't get me used to. ... The last time I played right tackle was freshman year in college. There's a lot of technique to kind of unlearn and switch to the other side. It's my job. I love it. I've got a great coach, great teammates, and I'm grinding my ass off. I'm going to crush it."

Williams might have initially balked at the idea of moving to right tackle but seems to have come around to the idea that it's best for the Bengals and their postseason expectations. The OT playing well and displaying versatility is what's best for him in the long run entering the final year of his rookie contract.

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