Quinnen Williams, NY Jets, Contract, Jeffery Simmons, DT Market
Quinnen Williams, New York Jets, Getty Images

The NFL’s defensive tackle market has shifted

The New York Jets‘ contract negotiations with Quinnen Williams will undoubtedly be affected by the monster deal Jeffery Simmons signed with the Tennessee Titans on Friday.

Simmons reset the market for non-Aaron Donald defensive tackles with a four-year, $94 million contract extension that includes $66 million guaranteed. Since the deal is tacked onto Simmons’ fifth-year option in 2023, it puts him under contract with the Titans through 2027.

Simmons’ deal now ranks No. 2 among all defensive tackles in total value ($94M), average annual value ($23.5M), and total guarantees ($66M) – of course, he trails only Donald in each category.

Williams and his camp will surely be looking to surpass Simmons’ contract. In 2022, Simmons was a second-team All-Pro while Williams was a first-team All-Pro. Both players are 25 years old and were first-round draft picks in 2019.

Simmons boasts a more established track record of accolades, as he was also a second-team All-Pro in 2021 while Williams had not made an All-Pro or Pro Bowl team before 2022. But Williams was certainly the more dominant player this past season, amassing better production despite playing 150 fewer snaps:

  • Quinnen Williams: 12.0 sacks, 28 QB hits, 52 total pressures, and 55 tackles on 690 defensive snaps
  • Jeffery Simmons: 7.5 sacks, 14 QB hits, 53 total pressures, and 54 tackles on 840 defensive snaps

The Jets picked up Williams’ fifth-year option for 2023 last April, which carries a cap hit of $9.6 million.

Simmons’ mammoth deal is the second notable extension signed by a defensive tackle this offseason. Washington’s Daron Payne signed a four-year, $90 million extension with $59 million guaranteed. Javon Hargrave also signed a lucrative contract as a free agent, moving from Philadelphia to San Francisco on a four-year, $84 million deal with $40 million guaranteed.

Coming off a first-team All-Pro season and having watched plenty of other star DTs get paid this offseason, it’s hard to imagine Williams will be eager to show up at training camp without a new contract. Now that Simmons has signed, the clock is ticking. The market has been firmly established and it’s time for the Jets to hammer out a deal.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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2 months ago

I’m in the no deal camp. How many Super Bowls are won by a defensive team with a star DL? Too much $ for how Jets currently run their rotating defense. If Green Bay has reneged on the previous Deal for Rogers then trade Williams for Rogers + choice GB DL + player. Alternately, they need to change the defense and he has to be able to play every (almost) snap.

2 months ago
Reply to  Freedom1789

I am not going to “thumb down” this post. The first part of it is worth noting, although I can’t say I’m on board with the trade suggestion. The Q question for me doesn’t come down to the money. I think he’s proven to the team he’s a leader and team player. He seems to be a guy they need in the locker room, and he clearly has massive talent. I am all for paying him, the key is how to make it work with the cap. Every team has to dole out big contracts, and some of them just don’t work, while I believe Q will be worth the money the team needs some type of “out” just in case. Hopefully they can find a way to make it work for both sides, I’d hate to lose Q or begin this season with a prolonged “hold out.”

He’s signed and can be tagged so the team has the advantage at this point, but if they are thinking Super Bowl, having one of their best players feeling undervalued isn’t a good start.

2 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

My point is that it does come down to money. Always. Do I want Q on my team? Yes. At 15 APY yes. At 25 APY no. Everyone will have different numbers. Do I want to trade him: no. But at some point you have to look at the opportunity cost and\or team improvement.

Look at the top cap hits\contracts on the team, not the player. Mosely: Bad. Lawson: Bad. Brown: Bad. Davis: Bad. Tomlinson: Bad. Whitehead: Bad. That is about 80 million misspent based on the actuality (some of these contracts (Lawson, Davis) I was in favor. Every single player for the Jets with a large cap hit was an inefficient contract: so I am wary of adding high dollar contracts until the Jets start actually getting them right. And I am STILL a Joe Douglas fan!

As a team, was it not a good decision to let Leonard Williams walk? Or should we have just paid him at a current cap hit of 32 million? And to trade Adams or have his 18 cap hit (let alone the fleecing we were able to achieve)?

Finally, excuse my ranting. But your last two points echoes what I was considering with a trade. How contentious are the current negotiations? We don’t know. Not the best wording, but what would be a “no-brainer” trade (e.g., would you trade him for another team’s next 3 first rounders?).

My poorly made post is that we should discuss all options, for all players, at all times. We shouldn’t just “pay the man” unless we want to go all-in for a 1 year window like the LA Rams (now 5-12). We could use another Super Bowl, so maybe that IS a good plan. 🙂