Russell: Williams started resenting Redskins when they drafted Christian

Chris Lingebach
July 09, 2019 - 9:46 pm
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The Redskins selecting tackle Geron Christian in the third round of the 2018 draft is what sent Trent Williams spiraling towards resentment, Chris Russell shared Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan.

Williams, who either wants to negotiate a new contract with the Redskins, or to be traded from the only NFL team he's known for the past nine years, has undergone multiple cosmetic procedures this offseason after having a growth removed from his scalp. The discovery of that growth and the organization's subsequent handling of it may be to blame for Williams' frustration, or perhaps the source requires deeper digging.

The answer may not present itself until training camp, when Williams either appears or declines to show his face in Richmond.

"I think Trent's resentment towards the Redskins started with the drafting of Geron Christian, when nobody expected them to take a tackle that early and they did in the third round," Russell told JP Finlay on 106.7 The Fan. "And he's like, 'Whoa. Wait a second. You want me to continue to deal with this circus?'"

That's when the segment turned sideways, diverging from Russell reporting what he knows about Williams into what can best be described as a paranoid indictment of his own credibility.

"Let me tell you something," Russell continued. "Y'all think I'm negative as bleep! Y'all think I make this stuff up! Let me tell you how many people I hear from inside that organization and outside that organization. And I know JP does too, he's just more cautious and careful about what he says.

"I ain't got nothing to protect. They fired me four years ago! Let me tell you something: That place is a freaking zoo! That place is a circus! That place is an unsavory place to work! I don't care WHAT anybody tells ya – Larry Michael, Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Dan Snyder – I don't care who tells ya, I'm telling ya the truth!"

"That was Chris Russell, to be clear. That was not me," Finlay made clear. "We're gonna take a quick break. And we're gonna get Russell some cold water, maybe some more Sprite. He's walking out of the studio. Take a break, big man."

After a quick commercial break, Finlay and Russell reconvened for an impromptu radio therapy session on 106.7 The Fan.

"You operate in two different modes," Finlay said. "When you are reporting, I believe everything you report. I think you know that. We've had conversations. We've had plenty of talks about this. You and I are friends. We operate outside of live microphones."

"And I think we're truthful to each other," Russell said.

"Absolutely," Finlay replied. "But I do think when you get into that rant mode, and when you get into what become – whether you intend them to or not – personal attacks, that ain't reporting.

"That is – I don't know that you're grinding an axe – but that is personal feelings, you know what I mean? So I, knowing you and knowing the situation, am able to separate those events. And I think when people come at you on Twitter with some of this stuff, I think it's because they don't separate that, and I don't know that they can."

"And I appreciate that you do separate that," Russell said. "And I would say this: I have never hid from the fact that, yes, there is a little bit of personal frustration, resentment, whatever you want to call it, towards the main guy that makes the decisions around there. Yes, there is. There is. Whether that's right or wrong, I don't know."

"I don't think that's a surprise for most people," Finlay said. 

"Sports-talk radio is a medium where we are allowed to express our feelings," Russell said. "We are allowed to say, 'I don't like this. I like this. I hate this. I really like that.' Whether it's right or wrong. Sometimes those lines are very blurry, and I admit that."

"Sure. And the lines from being a reporter, to talking on air for four hours, get blurry," Finlay said. "And in a lot of ways, the transcribing culture, that Dan Steinberg created – that he doesn't get nearly enough credit for what he built, what corner of the internet he built – but what Blue Shorts does here, what lots of people do at lots of places.

"When you are filling air time for an hour, for two hours, for four hours, you're going to say things that you probably wouldn't write, or you probably wouldn't tweet. Now you – correct me if I'm wrong, Russell – you have crossed the Rubicon. You no longer care. You go all-in and are willing to say things, and probably tweet them and write them."

This whole ordeal – and it was an ordeal – was really quite unexpected, and took over the remainder of the show, which you can digest in full here.

There's also a fairly digestible portion of it here:

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