It’s official. The New York Jets announced this morning (via Twitter) that they’ve picked up defensive lineman Leonard Williams‘ fifth-year option. We heard earlier this month that the organization would pick up the option before the May 3rd deadline.
Williams was already under contract for an affordable $2.975MM in 2018, but as our own Zach Links pointed out, it’s uncertain what kind of money he’ll be making in 2019. After all, the 23-year-old has spent time at defensive end and defensive tackle, so he could realistically be listed at either position.
The fifth-year option for former top-10 picks is similar to the transition tag, so Williams’ 2019 salary will be based on the top-10 salaries at his respective position. Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com believes that Williams’ salary could come in around $14.2MM. Regardless, his listed 2019 salary might soon be irrelevant, as the two sides could still agree to a long-term extension.
The former first-rounder out of USC hasn’t missed a game since entering the league in 2015. After compiling seven sacks en route to a Pro Bowl birth in 2016, Williams’ numbers took a bit of a hit in 2017. The lineman ultimately finished the campaign with 47 tackles and two sacks in 16 games, both career-lows. However, Williams still graded out as a top-25 defensive tackle last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.