The New York Jets have finally locked up Quinnen Williams
Williams and the Jets agreed on a four-year, $96 million contract that includes $66 million guaranteed. The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 13, 2023
This extension keeps Williams signed through the 2027 season, when he will be 30 years old. The average annual value ranks Williams among defensive tackles, behind only Aaron Donald’s record-setting $31.7 million AAV.
This payday was overdue, as the 2019 No. 3 overall pick has established himself as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
Williams has earned it
Williams earned this contract with his breakout 2022 campaign, in which he was named a first-team All-Pro and established himself as one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Here is where he ranked among all defensive tackles, per Pro Football Focus:
- Pressures: 52 (8th)
- Pressure rate: 12.4% (3rd)
- Sacks: 13 (2nd)
- Sack rate: 3.1% (1st)
- Defensive stops: 32 (10th)
- Defensive stop rate: 4.6% (11th)
From the numbers, it’s easy to see that Williams was one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in 2022. He also came through for the Jets when it mattered most, tying with Chris Jones for second among all defensive players with eight third-down sacks, only one behind Haason Reddick.
Some critics caution that Williams has only put together one season of star-level play and was merely average in the three seasons prior, but the facts say otherwise. While his rookie season in 2019 was relatively disappointing, he showed glimpses of his potential over his second and third years, posting 13 combined sacks and ranking highly in many other areas.
How good has Quinnen Williams been the last 3 years?
Since 2020, only Chris Jones (32) and Aaron Donald (31) have more sacks than Q (25).
— Stefan Stelling (@li_jets) July 13, 2023
The talent and flashes were always there. Williams just couldn’t maintain an elite level of play across a full season until 2022.
In fact, from Week 7 of 2020 to Week 8 of 2021 (a span of 14 games), Williams racked up 53 pressures, 11 sacks, and 23 run stops. This was good for a 12.8% pressure rate, 2.7% sack rate, and 10.3% run stop rate, which all would have been top-eight marks among interior defensive linemen in 2022. He just needed to remain consistent over a full season, and he finally did that in 2022. Now, he will lead the Jets’ defense for years to come.
At only 25 years old and with elite physical traits, Williams is just entering his prime. With the deal finally done, the Jets and their fans can start focusing on the 2023 season as Williams vies for the Defensive Player of the Year award, where he finished seventh in voting a year ago.