Though he’s been a free agent since Feb. 9th, apparently RB Jonathan Williams only found out today (May 11th), and when he did he wasn’t happy, taking to twitter to blast the Redblacks’ management.
At first blush, this seems to be a total fail on Williams’ agent’s part, yet when I made that comment he responded that he had no agent and as someone who lived outside of Ottawa he didn’t make a point of checking Ottawa’s newspapers.
Sorry but it’s 2015 and living outside of a city doesn’t restrict you from getting news from it. The internet is a thing, remember? Williams has been listed as a free agent on the CFL’s site since Feb. 9th and doesn’t appear on the Redblacks’ roster on the team’s site. If I knew I had a short term contract at my job, and it ran out, I’d be damned sure to ask my boss if I was coming back.
@TSNSteve I know I don't have a contracty thingy but when's our first game?
— Larry Budge (@heylarryous) May 11, 2015
So while some might be quick to lay the blame at GM Marcel Desjardins feet, if you’re a player with no agent, you should know your own contract status. Williams has to accept the personal responsibility that comes with representing himself. In numerous interviews this off-season, Desjardins said they weren’t bringing Williams back due to lingering concerns over the serious late season knee injury he suffered. That being said, Desjardins did leave the door open saying they’d consider bringing Williams back again if and when he got healthy. Despite this, Williams seemed to believe that he was heading back to Ottawa for therapy.
Without knowing what was said behind the scenes, it’s hard to say why Williams believed this. Who knows what was said at end of season meetings? No matter what, Williams is partly responsible for this situation, as he should’ve checked in with the team once free agency kicked off and his contract expired, but perhaps the Redblacks could’ve made a bigger effort to ensure he clearly understood he was not in their plans, though I’m not sure how.
It’s a real shame to see things turn out this negatively, as Williams excelled for the Redblacks last season, bringing a much needed bruising presence to the run game. With Williams taking to social media and airing so called “dirty laundry” in public, it’s hard to see any kind of reconciliation playing out, even if he gets healthy.
Leave a comment and let me know who you think is to blame for this situation.
Williams is now claiming he signed a 3 year contract with the team.
While he may be right, this seems strange as normally most mid-season signings (which Williams was) are only signed to 1 year deals. Also, the league would have a copy of any contract signed, and they probably would not incorrectly list a player as a free agent on their site. Many on social media asked Williams to tweet a picture of his contract to prove what he was saying, unfortunately he somehow doesn’t seem to have a copy.