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According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the New York Jets and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams are yet to come to an agreement on a contract extension. This has resulted in Williams staying away from the team as part of his efforts to secure a new deal.
Based on recent accords struck by Williams’ defensive tackle draftmates, Jeffery Simmons and Dexter Lawrence, it would seem that the framework for such a deal is largely in place. Simmons signed a four-year, $94MM extension with the Tennessee Titans that includes $66MM in guaranteed money, while Lawrence and the New York Giants agreed to a four-year, $90MM re-up that includes $60MM in guarantees.
Why is Williams Contract Not Done?
Given that the market for young, high-end defensive tackles includes so many recent comparables, it is somewhat surprising that Williams and the Jets still have a large gap to bridge in their negotiations. Ownership has given GM Joe Douglas plenty of wiggle room in contract talks, and considering Douglas’ comments at the end of February.
Update: #Jets and All-Pro DT Quinnen Williams are Not close to a new contract, per ESPN's @RichCimini
“The two sides aren't close to an agreement even though the second-contract market for top defensive tackles is clearly formed.”
The #Titans recently signed DT Jeffery Simmons… pic.twitter.com/Uverq4MM9d— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 7, 2023
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Williams and his agent would have hopefully been able to come to an agreement by now. Perhaps Williams is pushing for more guarantees and/or a larger AAV since he has a First Team All-Pro nod on his resume. It could also be that the team is attempting to maximize the leverage it has by virtue of the franchise tag, which it could deploy to keep Williams in the fold in 2024.
Williams, who will not turn 26 until December, was in impressive form last season, setting new career-highs in sacks (12) and quarterback hits (28). Additionally, he earned a strong 77.7 rush defense grade from Pro Football Focus, which considered him the fourth-best interior defender last season, two spots behind Lawrence but above Simmons (10th-best) and well ahead of Payne (60th-best). As Cimini writes, it does not do the Jets any good to risk jeopardizing their relationship with one of their foundational players, particularly one who has been so vital to their defensive success. Ultimately, we hope that the Jets and Williams’ agent can work together to come to an agreement that benefits both parties.