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Picking up Quinnen Williams’ 5th year should be no-brainer for Jets

Quinnen Williams
Quinnen Williams, New York Jets, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Picking up Quinnen Williams’ fifth-year option should be a no-brainer for the NY Jets this offseason.

The best thing Mike Maccagnan left the New York Jets might have been from one of his last moves as general manager. Quinnen Williams is one of Maccagnan’s lone picks remaining on the Jets, and he’s one of the team’s best players, period.

Picking up the premier defensive tackle’s fifth-year option should be a no-brainer for Joe Douglas and the organization this offseason.

Williams has the potential to be a very light version of Aaron Donald for the Jets defense. He had big shoes to fill, replacing Leonard Williams (who is excelling in his own right with the New York Giants), and Q has done so admirably.

In each season he’s played, Quinnen Williams has improved. After an underwhelming rookie year, there were public groans from the fan base that perhaps Maccagnan made yet another blunder.

From the outside, the Alabama product didn’t look so productive. Upon second glance, the box score can be deceiving.

In his second year, Williams showed exactly why he was worth the third overall selection coming out of Alabama. At this time last year, Williams started to reach his true, elite potential.

Williams would finish the 2020 season with seven sacks, 55 tackles, and 14 quarterback hits in only 13 games. His total pass-rush productivity for the season was good for ninth in the NFL among interior defensive linemen, per PFF (minimum of 350 snaps).

Williams began the 2021 campaign on a blazing hot start, solidifying himself as one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. He was one of the few things going right on a defense that had a rocky start to the season.

As we head into Week 13 of the NFL season, that hot start Williams was having has turned into a hot trend.

Per PFF, Williams is currently sixth in pass-rush productivity among interior defensive linemen (min. 100 pass-rush snaps). His seven sacks are tied for second among IDL, while only playing the 25th most snaps among his peers.

Quinnen Williams has been dominating opposing offensive lines. He made a crucial sack against the Bengals in Week 8 and had a monstrous 19-yard sack on Tyrod Taylor, bulldozing the center out of the way with a bull rush.

Earlier this year, Michael Nania pointed out that despite the Jets preventing Williams from reaching his ceiling, he’s still producing at an elite level. Once Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich find the remedy to unleash Q, all bets are off for opposing offenses.

The Jets don’t have to make a decision on Quinnen Williams’s fifth-year option until May 3 of 2022, but the decision shouldn’t be a difficult one. In fact, it should be the first thing Joe Douglas does once the season ends, while also beginning long-term contract negotiations.

With John Franklin-Myers recently getting a contract extension of his own, locking the pair together for a minimum of another two years is one of the easier decisions Joe Douglas will have to make this offseason.

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