Have no fear, Jets X-Factor is here. It’s officially time to attempt to make sense of the New York Jets-Quinnen Williams trade rumors.
The definition of a fire-sale, according to Merriam-Webster: “heavily discounted” and/or “a sale of merchandise damaged in a fire” and/or “a sale at very low prices.”
In the mysterious and often laughed-at land of the New York Jets, a fire-sale includes commodities named Jamison Crowder, Marcus Maye and maybe even young Sam Darnold. Quinnen Williams’s name had hardly surfaced in the equation.
On Tuesday, the New York Daily News‘ Manish Mehta reported that the Jets are looking to move the organization’s first-round pick in 2019.
“The Daily News has learned that the Jets are shopping defensive lineman Quinnen Williams with the hope of moving him for a fair price before the Nov. 3 trade deadline.”
Williams, 22, remains a baby-faced interior defensive lineman whose production hasn’t yet caught up to his mouth-watering attributes. Unlike the previous season, the kid has emerged a bit.
He’s just one of five interior defensive linemen this season to post 10-plus run stops with a run stop rate of at least 8 percent and 10-plus pressures with a pressure rate of at least 8 percent.
Quinnen Williams is one of only 5 IDL this season that has
* 10+ run stops w/ a run stop rate of 8.0%+
* 10+ pressures w/ a pressure rate of 8.0%+
– Quinnen Williams
– DeForest Buckner
– Calais Campbell
– Jonathan Allen
– Michael Brockers
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) October 27, 2020
Signs that the Alabama product is coming along are strong and abundant. So why would Joe Douglas trade the kid for pennies on the dollar? According to other members of the Jets beat, he’s not.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini refutes the Mehta report.
The #Jets are not shopping DT Quinnen Williams, per league source.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 27, 2020
The New York Post’s Brian Costello did the very same thing.
The Jets are not shopping DL Quinnen Williams, according to a league source. #nyj
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) October 27, 2020
Former Jet Antonio Cromartie decided to chime in as well, as he often does when anything Jet-related pops up in the news.
Rich doesn’t know
— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) October 27, 2020
Where does the truth lie?
Think about who Douglas is. He’s a fundamentalist, a man whose old-school football program-building belief is unwavering. He believes football teams are built from the inside-out and that everything starts at the draft.
That thinking led to an extremely timid first free-agency season last spring with an eye on salary-cap value. Value is the key.
Douglas continues to publicly state that he always picks up the phone when other teams call about a player. He stated that belief after the 2019 NFL trade deadline saga featuring Jamal Adams and has continued to do so ever since.
“Shopping” could very well be an appropriate term in this scenario. If Douglas is, indeed, shopping Williams, he and the organization are doing the right thing by denying it. No obvious good comes from admitting it at this stage of the trade-deadline game.
More importantly, “How does one define ‘shopping?'” Is Douglas making a single call to an organization after receiving an initial offer elsewhere correctly considered “shopping?” The idea that a player is being shopped around covers a ton of gray area today’s social media-driven climate isn’t willing to regularly navigate.
Perhaps Douglas hasn’t made a single call to another team. Maybe all have been incoming with a stern eye on gaging Douglas’s price for Big Q. While it’s tough to label that as “shopping,” it can easily be misconstrued as such or be manipulated in that vein in an attempt to help push the narrative.
If I’m a general manager with an eye on acquiring Quinnen Williams at a cheaper price, there’s no doubt I’d try to push a narrative that could possibly cause an unwanted rift. Anything that makes Williams look at the Jets in a different light is worth a shot. (The way Jamal Adams and Yannick Ngakoue pushed their way out of their initial towns will only create more chaos in this regard.)
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, which means anything could happen. When taking Douglas’s principles into consideration, the kid could absolutely be traded. Value is the driving force behind Douglas’s intent.
The question is, “How much would it take to move on from a kid on the rise?”
Only Joe Douglas knows. As a third-overall pick who’s still extremely young, perhaps only a first-rounder gets it done. Maybe an early second and another second or third can move the needle, but dishing out a kid whose potential hasn’t yet been realized doesn’t sound like a sound Douglas move. At the same time, Big Q wasn’t a Douglas selection.
In addition, the fact Williams’s contract is manageable (rookie four-year deal with a fifth-year option) makes it tougher to move him. More assets will be desired in return.
To sell low isn’t what this guy normally does. Then again, surprising moves are right down his alley. The shortage of leaks in the building creates mystery that hasn’t been witnessed since the Eric Mangini days.
For now, take the reports for what they are and don’t overthink things to any extent. The gray area that exists when “shopping” a player is a classic wiggle-room feature sports media is expected to use when necessary.