The Redskins have signed linebacker Willie Jefferson to a reserve/future contract, bringing the number of players signed to futures deals in recent days to 14.
Jefferson could be the most intriguing of those signings. Listed at 6 foot 6, 245-pounds, the pass rusher recorded a combined 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and 10 passes defended the past two seasons while playing for the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL. His six sacks last season were tied for the second most on his team and 18th most in the league.
Jefferson, who turns 25 later this month, could possesses enough talent to play in the NFL; the question is can he stay out of trouble? A native of Beaumont, Texas, he entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Texans in 2013 but was released along with two teammates for violating team rules prior to a game against Kansas City.
At Baylor, Jefferson was dismissed from the team after he and teammate Josh Gordon were found asleep in Jefferson’s car at a Taco Bell drive-thru. Police found marijuana in the car. Jefferson converted from tight end to defensive end and transferred to Stephen F. Austin State and led the Southland Conference with 16 sacks.
Jefferson also signed a futures contract with the Bills in 2014, but after the team switched defensive coordinators he was let go before ever suiting up for Buffalo.
In Washington, Jefferson will join a corps of OLBs that includes veterans Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy, rookie standout Preston Smith and reserve Houston Bates.
For Jefferson, it’s another chance to realize a lifelong dream. For the Redskins, it’s a low-risk move that could pay off—if, of course, Jefferson can stay out of trouble.