Run-stuffing defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi moved into a full-time starting role last season and is now expected to generate considerable interest as a free agent. The four-year veteran started 15 games, after combining for eight starts in his first three seasons, and the Jets are prepared for the former sixth-round pick to move out of their price range when free agency opens next week, Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com notes. Although the Jets have deployed below-average defenses during Fatukasi’s two seasons as a full- or part-time starter, the UConn product has played well. Having turned 27 last week, Fatukasi should have prime years remaining. The Jets have Quinnen Williams under contract through 2023 and must make a decision on Sheldon Rankins, who will see $1.25MM of his $4.5MM base salary become guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2022 league year (March 20).
Here is the latest out of New York:
- Fewer than 20 teams in the common draft era (1967-present) have made two top-10 picks in a draft. The Jets have the opportunity, holding the Nos. 4 and 10 selections this year. They might face a major decision at No. 4. The Jets are high on Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, but no team has chosen a safety in the top four since the Browns took Eric Turner fourth overall in 1991. Positional value would likely lean Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh to take Kayvon Thibodeaux over Hamilton at 4, in the event Aidan Hutchinson and tackles Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal are off the board, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. Thibodeaux’s stock has taken somewhat of a hit, but the Oregon edge rusher still figures to be an early pick.
- The Jets are picking up Quinnen Williams‘ fifth-year option, keeping the 2019 No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2023. A 2022 extension for the D-tackle starter does not sound especially likely, with Cimini noting the Jets are not in a hurry to hammer out a long-term deal. This is unsurprising, considering teams rarely extend first-round non-quarterbacks with two years of control remaining on their rookie contracts.
- Quinnen’s older brother, Quincy Williams, will play for more money in 2022. Under the NFL’s player-performance escalator provision, the young linebacker will see his 2022 salary spike from $965K to $2.54MM, Cimini tweets. Acquired from the Jaguars last year, Quincy Williams earned sufficient playing time to qualify for the bump. The Murray State product started 13 games alongside his brother and enjoyed by far his most productive season yet, recording 110 tackles and two sacks in his first Jets season. His rookie deal runs through 2022.