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Lions not concerned about Jameson Williams’ maturity despite suspension

Detroit Lions general manager expressed confidence that Jameson Williams will be just fine after serving his 6-game suspension for gambling.

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Questions have arisen about the maturity level of Detroit Lions 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams after the receiver was given a six-game suspension for gambling on a non-NFL game. Williams, who is just 22 years old, missed most of his rookie season as he rehabbed from a torn ACL suffered last January. Some Lions fans have grown concerned about Williams for the long term, especially since he only has one catch in his NFL career so far.

But Lions general manager Brad Holmes said on Saturday night that he doesn’t share those concerns. He believes Williams has learned from his mistakes and will moving forward.

“He made a mistake. He takes accountability of it. He knows it,” Holmes said. “Yes, he is young, (but) he understands the mistake that he made. We’ve had transparent, open conversations about it, but we have confidence that he’s going to take the right approach, he’s going to have the right response in terms of what he needs to do. I feel really good in terms of just having him through the remainder of the offseason program. We’ll get him in training camp, and then we’ll just have to have a good plan for when he has to depart and when he has to return.”

Concerns about Williams’ character have gone beyond the suspension. He’s drawn criticism for his behavior on social media—for example, liking a tweet about Lamar Jackson being a Detroit Lion, a perceived slight to current Lions quarterback Jared Goff. Others didn’t like the optics of Williams traveling to Las Vegas days after his suspension for gambling.

But, again, Holmes reiterated that they know the kind of person who Williams is and they have little concern. The Lions general manager said he believes in the team’s ability to develop their own, as both players and people.

“Everything who Jamo is as a person—we are extremely thorough in our research about the human being before we acquire these players,” Holmes said. “So, we know who Jamo is, and we have a good system for him—for all of our players. Player development is number one for all of our players. We said that Year 1, that was our goal and focus. I think each player’s different.

“Jamo is young and he’s going to continue to mature, and he’s going to continue to grow. So, yeah, some mistakes will be made, but we communicate with Jamo. We treat him like our other players. We hold him to accountability, and we’re always clear and transparent with him, like all of our players. We’ll just go forward from there.

“But no real concerns going forward. He made a mistake. He takes accountability for it, and I know that he’ll learn from it.”

The Lions did draft a wide receiver late on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft: North Carolina’s Antoine Green. He’s a speedster with size, capable of playing the X-receiver position. And while the Lions could certainly use a weapon like him—especially for the six games Williams will be missing—Holmes made it clear Green was not a one-to-one replacement for Williams.

“I don’t think that Green can replace Jameson or any of that, but we are happy to get Green in the fold. He does add a vertical stretching element.”

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