Does Quinnen Williams really want close to Aaron Donald money at $30 million from the New York Jets?
As Quinnen Williams‘ contract situation with the New York Jets continues to drag out, the question is why. Henry McKenna of Fox Sports may have provided an answer.
#Jets DT @QuinnenWilliams is seeking between $25M-$30M per year in his upcoming contract, per source. (More than Jeffery Simmons and less than Aaron Donald.)
“He loves the Jets. He just wants to get paid. Hopefully it doesn’t get messy,” the source said.
— Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis) May 15, 2023
The framework for a contract always seemed to be in place: four years, roughly $25 million per year, $65-70 million guaranteed. That would exceed the deals signed by the big three DTs this offseason and make Quinnen the highest-paid interior defensive lineman short of Aaron Donald.
But, apparently, the first-team All-Pro is not satisfied with that. Per McKenna, he is seeking $25-30 million per year. While the former number is realistic, the latter comes dangerously close to Donald territory.
Donald’s three-year, $95 million extension with the Rams gave him $31.67 million per year. The irony is that his guarantee structure was more in line with that of Simmons’, as he had $65 million in total guarantees with $46.5 million due at signing.
If Williams is looking to get into that range, that could definitely cause a holdup for the Jets. As good as his 2022 season was, it was one year.
Donald’s extension came following a Super Bowl victory. That season, he had just earned a whopping seventh consecutive first-team All-Pro. He had three Defensive Player of the Year awards to his name. Donald is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, in the conversation for the best defensive player of all time, and set a market of his own. Even though Williams played better than Donald in 2022, he doesn’t have anywhere close to the same resumé.
If we’re going by the “more-than-one-year” measurement, Jeffery Simmons had a better resumé over his first three seasons than Williams, as Simmons was a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2021 while Williams did not earn any accolades until 2022. The fact that Williams had one better year should not necessarily even guarantee that his contract exceeds Simmons’, although it certainly will, practically speaking.
$25 million per year is a reasonable demand. Maybe he can go up to $26 million. More than that? Quinnen still has to prove that he can stay healthy and replicate his 2022 performance, something Donald has proven year in and year out for close to a decade.
Furthermore, it’s hard to tease out exactly what Quinnen is thinking on social media. Earlier, he retweeted an article from ESPN’s Rich Cimini which speculated that he was seeking between $23-25 million per year.
If it’s on the overlap at $25 million and the Jets are holding that up, then it’s on them to get this done. But if the issue is that Williams thinks he’s worth as much as Donald, then Joe Douglas is right to balk.
As critical as Williams is to the Jets, they cannot hamstring their cap on his account. Even entertaining the thought of a Jamal Adams-type trade would be incredibly foolish for a team seeking a championship. Williams was their best player in 2022 on a team that also fielded the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.
Hopefully for the Jets, this situation resolves sooner rather than later. Douglas will start to earn the reputation of not wanting to pay the Jets’ own otherwise (even though he did not draft Quinnen). If it lingers into training camp, it could also impact the chemistry of a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Ok, so this is negotiation 101 in today’s NFL. Scrub the accounts, disconnect from the team, make the demands public. None of this is a “headache” (I know you don’t write the headlines Rivka) at this point, and it’s WAY to early to say Douglas is going to get a reputation of not wanting to pay their own players.
This is the NFL where not a lot gets done without some sort of deadline to motivate them. It’s also hard for the Jets at this point until they clear up Rogers’ situation, and while Q is a full on stud, he’s not a QB so he’s just going to have to wait. Waiting hurts NOTHING. There is NOTHING going on right now that Q HAS to be doing. This will drag on to the eve of camp and probably seep into a week or so of camp before getting done.
There will be all the hoopla about the Same Old Jets, “they don’t pay their guys” the posturing on social media by the player and the reality is if Q misses a week of camp it also means very little. He’s a DT, knows what he’s going and it won’t take him 6-8 weeks to get into football shape. He can do that in 3-4 weeks.
None of this makes me nervous. It’s just all we have to talk about here on May 16th and pretty much will be all there is other than 3 or 4 days in June, until the end of July. I’m not taking the bait other than this post. Q will be playing this fall and have a shiny new deal with the Jets.
But he’s a team player, he says. Yes! he’s wants all the teams money