According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Jets have agreed with linebacker Avery Williamson on a restructured contract.
#Jets LB Avery Williamson recently agreed to a restructured contract worth $3.5M for this season, including $1M guaranteed, per source. Max $5M with incentives. The move saves New York $3M in cash and $3.75M in cap space.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 31, 2020
Pelissero reports that Williamson’s contract will be worth $3.5 million this season with $1 million guaranteed, with a maximum worth of $5 million based on unreported incentives. The Jets open up $3.75 million in immediate cap space and save $3 million in cash.
Williamson’s new reported cap hit of $3.5 million is currently set to rank 28th among inside linebackers.
Williamson’s previous cap number was high-end starter money, which the team apparently was not willing to pay him. This move suggests that the Jets may have been preparing to cut him without a restructuring of the deal, which would have left Williamson with nothing. As a compromise, they give him a small guarantee in exchange for pushing his cost down to a level that is fair for the role they project him in.
To me, the Avery Williamson restructure is not good news regarding his comeback attempt post-injury. Which side went to the other, first? Was it the #Jets? Was it A-Will, playing it safe with the $1 million in guarantees this year?
Recovering from injury is never guaranteed.
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) August 31, 2020
Of course, this is all speculation. We do not know who initiated talks, what the Jets would have done if this did not occur, or what their plans are for Williamson this season.
What we do know is that this certainly is not promising news regarding Williamson’s recovery from the ACL injury he suffered in last year’s preseason. Perhaps he has not come as close to reaching his previous heights as the team hoped.
It’s a disappointing development, as Williamson was set to provide a major upgrade at off-ball linebacker, but such is life in the NFL. The door opens for another player to step up.