Redskins left tackle Trent Williams said he has no concerns about the addition of DeSean Jackson to the roster. He also said that in his dealings with the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, he hadn’t encountered any troubling character flaws.
Jackson, who signed with Washington last Wednesday, comes to the team with a cloud of controversy hovering over him. The Eagles released him although he had a career year last season – recording 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. Jackson reportedly clashed with Coach Chip Kelly, and reports claim the Eagles released Jackson out of fear of him negatively impacting the locker room.
Redskins officials didn’t share such concerns and awarded Jackson a three-year, $24 million contract with $16 million guaranteed. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and cornerback DeAngelo Hall both vouched for Jackson and believe he will fit well in the locker room.
Asked if he had any concerns about Jackson, Williams laughed.
“Naw. Not at all,” he said Monday via conference call with reporters assigned to cover the Redskins. “Me and DeSean met at the Pro Bowl so we’re pretty tight. I texted him as soon as he got released and I just asked him, were we even in the picture? When he told me he wanted to come and they were talking, I just told him basically that we would love to have a player of his caliber and that our team would be willing to embrace him and try to do big things this year. A lot of that stuff is just he-said, she-said stuff. You’ve got to get to know a guy for yourself. I have never – I haven’t had any type of bad feelings toward him or any type of bad read. When I met him, he was a cool guy. We exchanged [numbers] at the Pro Bowl and we kept in touch and I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I don’t think his character is bad. I think he’s a good addition to this team.”
Jackson has always come off as a flamboyant and brash player on the field, which has subjected him to some criticisms. Since his release, anonymous teammates have also have painted him in a negative light through media reports.
Williams said he believes Jackson’s high profile subjects him to greater scrutiny. But he finds it hard to believe the allegations of poor work ethic, practice habits and the lack of a team mentality. He said he doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want a player of Jackson’s caliber on their team.
“In my opinion, we play a game that’s America’s game and there’s a lot of eyes on you, and I think a lot of people just want to pick you apart. No matter what you do, they’re going to find the wrong in what you do, and kind of forget about the good things or whatever,” Williams said. “But for a guy that has had the type of impact that he has had, and with three Pro Bowls and countless numbers of big plays and putting his team in position to win, then I wouldn’t question his practice habits. I wouldn’t question him as a player. He’s proven himself day in, day out. Whatever you’re doing with all eyes on you and you’re in the public eye, there’s somebody that’s not well-liked, and they may not like you as a person, or whatever that case might be. So, I’m not going to judge him or say that he needs to change which way or the other. I can only go on his body of work, and his numbers stand up with the top receivers in the league.”