Second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams has created a stir in more ways than one this offseason.
Like many NFL players, Williams is active on Twitter and Instagram. But in March, he liked a tweet that suggested the Lions as a trade destination for quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Speaking to the media for the first time this offseason, Williams clarified that he just likes the way Jackson plays. He also made clear that his liked tweet was in no way a diss of Lions quarterback Jared Goff.
“It wasn’t no shots at Jared Goff. I love Goff,” Williams told the media on May 25. “You know, we got a perfect relationship. It’s just a liked tweet. Nothing has went down in our relationship.
“We still have a tight relationship. Nothing’s really happened between that. It’s social media. It’s Twitter.”
WR Jameson Williams Defends Social Media Use
One could argue that the 22-year-old receiver shouldn’t be liking social media posts about speculation involving the Lions. But Williams seems to recognize better than some Americans that there’s a difference between activity on a screen versus real life.
“Things I like on Instagram, Twitter, I hope those don’t lead people the wrong way,” Williams told the media. “It’s social media, you know? People take social media like it’s right here. This is real life and that’s social media.”
Regardless, Williams’ career is off to a rocky start. He couldn’t practice last season until late November because of a torn ACL from college. Williams finally made his NFL debut in Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But in six games, he only received 9 targets and caught 1 pass. Granted, his one catch was a 41-yard touchdown. He also had a rushing attempt go for 40 yards.
Those two plays are all the more reason Williams’ suspension is a source of frustration for the Lions. Although he can practice until the final roster cutdown day, the former No. 12 pick will again miss the beginning of the regular season because of sports gambling he did at the Lions facility.
He will be eligible to return against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7. Until then, it’s very likely his social media activity will be magnified.
Jared Goff Struggles at OTA Practices
Williams receiving questions about liking an offseason tweet about Jackson may have started the quarterback questions for Detroit. But Goff didn’t help his case at OTAs.
John Maakaron of SI.com’s All Lions called Goff the team’s “dud” at practice on May 25. Goff reportedly “struggled to connect with receivers during drills” that are designed to help offenses.
“There were opportunities for deep plays to running back Jahmyr Gibbs and wideouts Jameson Williams and Josh Reynolds,” Maakaron wrote. “But, the passes were overthrown, and did not have enough air underneath them to give the receiver an opportunity to pull down the reception.”
According to Maakaron, backup signal caller Nate Sudfield performed better.
Williams’ social media activity isn’t the only reason Goff’s performance could be under the microscope this summer. The veteran quarterback is seeking a new contract, and the Lions drafted Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker in the third round.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal projected Hooker to challenge Goff for playing time as early as 2024.
It’s important not to overblow a couple practices in May. But there’s pressure on Goff to perform well while elevating the Lions to heights this season.