The New York Jets’ efforts to sign defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to a contract extension continue to proceed, with the Jets reportedly expressing confidence that a new deal can be reached.
“This is going to be a big-money deal,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said Sunday on SportsCenter. “Jets are optimistic they can get this done. They just have not got it to the finish line yet. The Jets have $23 million in cap space, so they should be able to maneuver. They’re all in on the Aaron Rodgers era, this guy’s a big piece of that so they have to get it done. But he might not show up for a while to workouts without a new contract, so the pressure will mount here eventually. Could be in the $23 million range or even more.”
Williams was the third overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Like many players, he’s been forced to deal with a variety of injuries during his four seasons in the league, though he’s only missed three games in the past two seasons.
When healthy, Williams has been a fixture in the Jets’ starting lineup and given the team’s defense value up front. For his career, he’s collected 27.5 sacks and 11 passes defended, while forcing four fumbles and recovering two fumbles.
Last season, Williams had his best year yet, recording 12 sacks and four passes defended. That resulted in Williams being chosen first-team All-Pro, where he was joined by teammate Sauce Gardner.
The timing of that effort undoubtedly helped increase the value of Williams’ next deal, which the Jets are hoping will be with them.
A chief reason why the Jets are focused on a new deal with Williams is to avoid the potential for season-long uncertainty about his future with the team.
This offseason has seen the Jets make bold moves in an effort to improve on the team’s 7-10 record from last season. That mark stood at 7-4 after the first 11 contests, but six straight losses to end the campaign left a bitter taste.
The key move in trying to change that trajectory is the Jets’ acquisition of Rodgers. During his lengthy career with the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers delivered eye-popping numbers, which the Jets clearly hope he can continue this season.
Unlike Williams, who is just 25 years old, Rodgers is set to turn 40 in December. That means that the time frame to turn the Jets into Super Bowl contenders has been expedited.
By getting Williams signed at some point over the next few months, the Jets are hoping to make him a cornerstone of the defensive line for years to come. That could help play a part in making those Super Bowl dreams come true.