Quinnen Williams

Jets, DT Quinnen Williams Agree To Extension

JULY 18: Williams’ deal includes $47.835MM guaranteed at signing, according to OverTheCap. That number certainly looks to have been based on the Simmons deal, which included $47.830MM locked in. Williams’ full guarantees now top the defensive tackle market.

The guarantees cover a $24.5MM signing bonus and Williams’ 2023 and ’24 base salaries, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. Part of Williams’ 2025 base salary ($15.65MM) is fully guaranteed, with Florio adding $6.24MM of that total is already locked in. The rest of that money, however, does not become guaranteed until March 2025. At that point, $5MM of Williams’ $20.75MM salary for 2026 becomes guaranteed as well. The rest of Williams’ 2026 base and his full 2027 base are nonguaranteed.

JULY 13: Talks between the Jets and their emerging defensive star have, as foreshadowed yesterday, yielded a deal. Quinnen Williams has agreed to terms on an extension, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). The Jets have since announced the agreement.

Williams, 25, will earn $96MM over four years, making this the NFL’s second-largest contract handed out to a defensive tackle. The mega-contract includes $66MM in guaranteed money, Pelissero adds. One of the key points in contract talks was length, rather than financial terms, per SNY’s Connor Hughes, who tweets that Williams got his preferred four- (rather than five-) year pact.

The 2023 offseason has seen the DT market erupt, and it comes as no surprise that Williams has become the latest to cash in. The former No. 3 pick enjoyed a career-year in 2022, recording 12 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and 28 QB hits. Those figures helped earn him Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods, and gave him considerable leverage at the negotiating table.

Williams made it clear that he intended to have an extension worked out by April, under the threat of skipping out on voluntary OTAs. In the time that has passed since, then, other young producers along the defensive interior have inked deals of their own. Jeffery Simmons (Titans), Daron Payne (Commanders), Dexter Lawrence (Giants) and Ed Oliver (Bills) are among the beneficiaries of the new, lucrative market, and Williams has now surpassed each of them with this pact.

The Alabama product will earn $24MM per season on his second contract, just ahead of Simmons’ $23.5MM AAV but still well short of Aaron Donald‘s $31.67MM figure. Williams was already on the books for this season via the fifth-year option (valued at $9.6MM), so his time in the Big Apple will run through the 2027 campaign at a far more lucrative rate.

By securing this deal, the Jets have retained a homegrown high-impact player for the first time in the Joe Douglas era. Williams is the first Jets first-rounder to secure a second contract with the team since 2011 draftee Muhammad Wilkerson. A number of other young players Douglas has added will likely receive extensions of their own in the intermediate future, but today’s is a signficant sign of progress for the win-now franchise.

New York inked linebacker Quincy Williams to a three-year extension earlier this offseason, so he and his brother now have a shared future with the Jets. From a league-wide perspective, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact today’s news has on negotiations between the Chiefs and Chris Jones. The latter has been angling for a deal which will place him in the No. 2 spot amongst defensive tackle compensation, and a report from earlier this week indicated a agreement could be imminent. Kansas City may have to up their offer to satisfy Jones’ goal of surpassing all DTs behind Donald in the pecking order.

Given their acquisition of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, 2023 (and, perhaps, a season or so beyond that) is a campaign holding considerable expectations for the Jets. While the future Hall of Famer should elevate the team’s offense, its defense will still be counted on to perform at the elite level it showcased last season. Williams will be at the heart of that effort now and for many years in future.

Latest On Potential Extension For Jets DT Quinnen Williams

Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams rewarded the Jets exercising his fifth-year option last year with a breakout 2022 season. As a result, Williams made the next two decisions for New York very easy and very difficult, respectively. The easy decision was to start working towards an extension for the fifth-year lineman. The difficult part has been finding a deal that is agreeable to both sides. Recently, though, feelings around the deal have been positive and optimistic, according to Brian Costello of the NY Post, who ranked Williams as the team’s best player heading into 2023.

Coming off his career year, Williams made it clear that he wanted a new deal, and he wanted his new deal to be a priority, letting it be known that he wanted an extension by April. Yet, into May, the two sides were reportedly still not close on an agreement. One of the reasons for the delay was the preoccupation of the front office as they dealt with a prolonged trade discussion for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The team also started working towards a restructured contract for their new passer, but a Williams extension seems like a bigger priority for the long-term.

As the negotiations with Williams have dragged on over the months, things have stayed surprisingly civil. For a team that has been known to alienate their best players, like former safety Jamal Adams and former cornerback Darrelle Revis, during contract negotiations, the Jets appear to be on good terms with Williams, despite the slow progress.

Being on good terms for now is fine, but with training camp approaching quickly, the pressure is likely building. Williams could potentially stay away from camp or stage a “hold-in.” In order to avoid any uncomfortable situations, the Jets probably want to figure out a new deal before camp. Williams has certainly earned it, and the quality of the defensive line without him drops dramatically.

Latest On Jets, Dalvin Cook; Aaron Rodgers, Quinnen Williams Talks Impacting Pursuit?

The waiting game between Dalvin Cook and his lot of suitors continues. Nearly a month has passed since the Vikings cut Cook, and a few known interested parties have emerged. Thus far, no team has blown the four-time Pro Bowler away with an offer.

A Miami native, Cook has said the Dolphins are a “perfect fit,” and the team has submitted a contract proposal to the six-year veteran. No early deal commencing has opened the door to Dolphin rivals, with the Jets and Patriots now known to have Cook on their respective radars. Indeed, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler said during a recent Get Up! appearance that the Jets have done their homework on the free agent back and are in the mix here (video link).

[RELATED: Assessing Path Toward Quinnen Williams Extension]

For the time being, the Jets can probably be classified as a team monitoring this market. They could become a true suitor, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello, but only if Cook reduces his asking price. Cook is said to be seeking a number close to his $10MM-plus Vikings salary. As of now, the Jets sit fifth in cap space with $23.2MM. Some moving parts exist regarding that number, however.

New York has had an Aaron Rodgers restructure on its radar since acquiring the future Hall of Fame quarterback in April. The Packers and Rodgers reached a restructure agreement on the way out, a move that caught the Jets by surprise. As a result, Rodgers is due a whopping $107.5MM in base salary next year. His cap number aligns with that eye-popping figure. With no player ever entering a season on even a $50MM cap hit, it is safe to say some cap mechanics will take place fairly soon.

The Jets will look to spread out Rodgers’ hit, but since the current arrangement calls for that $107MM number in 2024, such a transaction would raise the 2023 figure from its present $1.2MM place. The Buccaneers used void years to smooth out their cap during Tom Brady‘s tenure, and while they are eating $35MM-plus in dead money as a result of the legendary passer not re-signing with the team, Tampa Bay obviously picked up its second Super Bowl title after the monumental free agent signing. However, Fowler adds a Jets-Rodgers restructure could be contingent on the 39-year-old QB committing to play at least two seasons with the team.

Rodgers has gone year to year for a bit now, delaying his latest return announcement until after free agency began this year, and stopped short of saying he would play beyond 2023 at his introductory Jets presser. The 19th-year veteran did break a recent trend by attending OTAs and did say he viewed this trade as a multiyear commitment. During trade talks with the Packers, the Jets attempted to squeeze in a contract clause that would have required Green Bay to send a 2025 second-round choice over in the event Rodgers did not play in 2024. That term was left on the cutting-room floor. The trade only includes one 2024 component, the conditional first-round pick that would transfer from New York to Green Bay if Rodgers plays 65% of Gang Green’s 2023 offensive snaps.

While the Rodgers restructure will presumably increase his 2023 cap hit, the Jets can reduce Williams’ fifth-year option number ($9.59MM) with an extension agreement. The Bills did this by extending Ed Oliver, creating room for the Leonard Floyd signing. Douglas and Robert Saleh expressed confidence in a Williams re-up earlier this offseason, but Fowler did not indicate much progress has been made as of late. The Jets are also prepared to give Corey Davis an ultimatum. With Davis’ role set to be reduced, he is not long for the $11.17MM cap number to which he is currently tied. This transaction would also free up cap space.

Breece Hall is finishing up his rehab from an October ACL tear; the Jets expect their promising second-year back to return by Week 1. Cook has said he wants to sign with a contender with a clear running back need. Although the Jets are committing to chase a Super Bowl while Rodgers is in town, Cook could certainly cut into Hall’s development. Then again, adding high-profile insurance for a young player coming off a major knee injury would not be the worst idea for a team in the Jets’ situation. And, with the Dolphins and Patriots interested, the Jets adding Cook would mean a protection measure against one of their rivals improving its backfield.

Extension Candidate: Quinnen Williams

A few of the contractual dominoes at the defensive tackle position have already fallen this offseason. Daron Payne, Jeffery Simmons and Dexter Lawrence agreed to terms on extensions, with two of those players — Payne and Lawrence — moving forward with teams that already had a big-ticket D-tackle contract on their books.

As the Commanders and Giants added monster Payne and Lawrence extensions, respectively, to payrolls that already included high-end deals for Jonathan Allen and Leonard Williams, the Jets have been in the on-deck circle for a bit now with Quinnen Williams. This negotiation — one already tabled by the team picking up Williams’ fifth-year option in May 2022 — has dragged for a bit.

Robert Saleh and GM Joe Douglas have expressed confidence about a Williams extension being finalized, even after the former No. 3 overall pick went through the standard operating procedure for disgruntled contract-year players. Despite Williams scrubbing his social media of Jets references, the sides are believed to have made some recent progress.

I speak for everyone — I probably speak for Quinnen — in that we all want get done sooner rather than later,” Saleh said, via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “I’ll let the business guys handle all that stuff, but it’s going to get done. He’ll be here for camp. He’ll be ready to roll and once he is, I’m sure it’ll be the same guy who was here.”

The parameters for a Williams extension, as our Rory Parks noted recently, should be largely in place thanks to the three other D-tackle deals completed this offseason. Payne, Lawrence and Simmons all signed four-year contracts worth between $90MM and $94MM. A narrow gap between each’s fully guaranteed sum exists as well, with the three now joining Aaron Donald in the top four at this position for locked-in money. Ranging from $46MM to $47.8MM (Simmons, who topped Donald for the top spot here) in full guarantees, these contracts create a clear road map for the Jets and Williams.

Williams, 25, benefited from the Jets delaying talks until this year. The Mike Maccagnan-era draftee is coming off a dominant season and leads a suddenly relevant Jets defense — thanks to its dramatic 2022 improvement and its place on a now-Aaron Rodgers-led team — ahead of a key period in franchise history. The Alabama product posted 12 sacks, smashing his career-high mark, and trailed only Lawrence and Chris Jones among D-tackles in QB pressures (32). Williams’ 28 QB hits also doubled his previous career-best number. He and Sauce Gardner served as the driving forces for a Jets defense that rocketed from last (in both points and yards allowed) in 2021 to fourth in both categories last season.

Although Douglas is not responsible for all of the team’s recent history regarding first-rounders going one-and-done on contracts, the Jets have seen a high number of Round 1 draftees leave during or after a rookie deal. Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Jamal Adams left via trade; Douglas did pull the trigger on two of those moves (Williams, Adams). The Adams process became contentious, though the deal has worked out for New York. A few Jets first-round picks over the past decade and change have produced busts, but Muhammad Wilkerson — extended just before the 2016 franchise tag deadline — has been the only Jet first-rounder re-upped since 2007 top choice Darrelle Revis re-signed in September 2010. The Quinnen Williams situation gives the Jets a chance to make a key update here.

It seems Williams is holding out for more guaranteed money than Simmons received. The top Titans pass rusher has Williams beat in original-ballot Pro Bowl nods (2-1), but Williams holds the only first-team All-Pro nod among the young tackles who spent this offseason on the extension grid. (Simmons has earned second-team All-Pro acclaim in each of the past two seasons, however.) The Jets have the leverage of franchise-tagging Williams next year, but letting this situation drag into training camp would remind of the organization’s stalled pipeline regarding first-rounders and second contracts.

While Payne, Lawrence and Simmons have bridged the gap between Donald’s average annual value (a non-quarterback-high $31.7MM) and the field, a substantial gulf remains. The earlier batch of extensions suggests Williams will have trouble coming too close to the Rams icon. Jones represents a better bet of approach that place, as he is still just 28 and has become one of this era’s most dominant interior pass rushers. It could be possible Williams and Jones are seeing who will blink first, but we have not heard much on the Chiefs’ efforts with their four-time Pro Bowler.

Williams will be an essential piece for the Jets in their first Rodgers season, and seeing as Gardner is years away from an extension, the team has a clear window to lock down its top front-seven piece. Considering Williams’ value to the Jets at this pivotal point, he should be able to do very well. Should this deal be finalized before a third Jones-Chiefs agreement, the Kansas City star defender will assuredly use it to his advantage. It will be interesting to see how close the divide between Donald and the field is by Week 1, should these two contracts be completed by then.

Jets, DT Quinnen Williams Making Progress On Extension Talks

The top remaining priority in what has been a busy Jets offseason is finalizing a new deal for defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. That process has taken longer than many expected, but the situation appears to still be in a relatively good place.

Brian Costello and Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post note that both sides remain confident an extension will be agreed to, potentially before mandatory minicamp in mid-June. They add that team and player are not believed to be “that far apart” on contract terms, an encouraging sign which points to an agreement being reached to keep the All-Pro in New York for the long-term future.

Williams, 25, put himself in line for a massive extension in 2022. He earned his first career All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods by totaling 55 stops, 12 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. He is due $9.59MM this season on the fifth-year option, but a multi-year deal will check in at a much larger figure than that, especially given the upward movement seen in the DT market this offseason. Deals signed by Dexter Lawrence, Daron Payne and Jeffery Simmons have all averaged either $22.5MM or $23.5MM per year with at least $60MM in gurantees.

Williams could command such a rate on a four- or five-year deal, given his age and production. The former third overall pick has been away from the Jets’ OTAs, however, and he recently removed all mention of the team on his social media pages amidst contract talks. That, in turn, came not long after a report remerged that the two sides were not close on terms.

Today’s update is certainly more encouraging, though, as Williams and the Jets continue to look to take care of their long-term future with each other this spring. New York currently sits near the bottom of the league in terms of cap space, but plenty of roster moves are yet to be made this offseason aimed at freeing up financial flexibility. Given the team’s expectations for immediate success in 2023, Williams figures to play a large role in their performance at the start of the Aaron Rodgers era and beyond. A deal securing his status as one the team’s top investments may not be far away.

Jets Rumors: Restructures, Williams, McDonald, Johnson

The Jets were recently able to create an impressive $12.7MM of cap space by reworking defensive end Carl Lawson‘s contract. The team may not be done there, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, as there are a few more veterans with lofty salaries in 2023.

After reducing Lawson’s cap hit for the year, five Jets have cap hits over $10MM for the upcoming season: linebacker C.J. Mosley ($21.48MM), left tackle Duane Brown ($11.28MM), wide receiver Corey Davis ($11.17MM), left guard Laken Tomlinson ($10.88MM), and safety Jordan Whitehead ($10.23MM).

Mosley, Brown, and Davis make the most sense for potential further restructures, not just because they have the highest cap hits, but also because they all have salaries over $9MM next season. Mosley has the highest base salary for 2023 at $17MM, while Davis is at $10.5MM and Brown is at $9MM. The bigger base salary gives them a larger amount that they are able to convert into a signing bonus in order to reduce salary cap numbers.

Here are a few more rumors concerning Gang Green:

  • Another player with a high salary and cap hit, as his fifth-year option gives him an amount for both of $9.59MM, Quinnen Williams has been the source of much stress for New York. While head coach Robert Saleh is fairly unconcerned about the situation, expecting a deal to get done, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN, the drama was only exacerbated with Williams made an adjustment to his Twitter bio earlier this week, writing, “Defensive tackle for ……………….” Many around the league are worried the situation could devolve into one resembling that of Jamal Adams, who general manager Joe Douglas had planned to make a “Jet for life” before trading him to Seattle weeks later.
  • The Jets used a first-round pick on Iowa State outside linebacker Will McDonald back in April. It puzzled some as it looked like the continuation of a number of early draft investments New York has made at pass rusher. Some wondered if they maybe planned to use McDonald as more of a complete linebacker, but according to Cimini, the Jets plan to use McDonald at defensive end. Considered to be arguably the draft’s best pass rushing prospect, McDonald will compete with recent high draft pick Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin-Myers for snaps across from Carl Lawson.
  • It was a bit of a shock last month when New York released running back Ty Johnson with a non-football injury designation just over a month after re-signing him. Johnson took to Instagram today to provide some emotional insight on the situation. According to Johnson, after tearing a pectoral muscle in a workout away from the team, Johnson was told by the Jets’ team doctor to undergo surgery. When he returned to the facility after the procedure, he was told he no longer had a spot on the roster. The Jets return a hopefully fully healthy Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight and added Pitt running back Israel Abanikanda in the fourth round of the draft.
  • New York signed former Packer Billy Turner earlier this month to help solidify their depth at offensive tackle. Thanks to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, we’ve got a few more details on the deal. The one-year contract has a base salary of only $1.35MM with $1MM of it guaranteed. Turner can more than double that amount if he ends up active and playing next year. He’ll receive a per game active roster bonus of $17,647 for a potential season total of $300K. The deal also includes a playing time incentive that will pay him $1.5MM if he plays 75 percent or more of the team’s offensive snaps.
  • Cimini was able to provide us with details on defensive tackle Al Woods‘s recent signing, as well. The one-year deal worth $2.25MM has a base salary of $1.24MM ($500K of it guaranteed) with a $500K signing bonus. Woods will also receive a per game active roster bonus, his worth $30K for a potential season total of $510K.

Jets, DT Quinnen Williams Not Close On Extension

The Jets and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams are “not close” to an agreement on a contract extension, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. As he said he would, Williams is staying away from the team as part of his efforts to secure a new deal.

It would seem that the framework for such a deal is largely in place thanks to the recent accords struck by Williams’ DT draftmates, Jeffery Simmons and Dexter Lawrence. Last month, Simmons signed a four-year, $94MM extension with the Titans that features $66MM in guaranteed money, and Lawrence and the Giants agreed to a four-year, $90MM re-up that includes $60MM in guarantees. In March, Daron Payne — who entered the league in 2018, one year before the Williams/Simmons/Lawrence trio — signed a four-year, $90MM deal with the Commanders. Like Lawrence, Payne received $60MM in guarantees.

As the market for young, high-end defensive tackles includes so many recent comparables, it is somewhat surprising that Williams and Gang Green still have a large gap to bridge in their negotiations. That is especially true in light of the fact that ownership has given GM Joe Douglas plenty of wiggle room in contract talks, and considering Douglas’ comments at the end of February.

We’ve had several good discussions with (Williams’s agent, Nicole Lynn) and Quinnen since the season,” Douglas said at the time. “We feel really good about where we’re at. We feel good that this process is going to play out in the right way.”

Perhaps Williams is pushing for more guarantees and/or a larger AAV since he, as opposed to his newly-extended peers, has a First Team All-Pro nod on his resume (although Simmons boasts two Pro Bowl bids to Williams’ one). It could also be that the team is attempting to maximize the leverage it has by virtue of the franchise tag, which it could deploy to keep Williams in the fold in 2024. Of course, the Titans and Giants also had the threat of the tag at their disposal, and Payne had already been tagged when he signed his deal. Plus, as Cimini writes, it does not do the Jets any good to risk jeopardizing their relationship with one of their foundational players.

To be clear, Cimini does not suggest that the relationship between player and team is in a bad place, only that there is still plenty of work to be done to reach an agreement. And although Williams had indicated that he wanted to have a deal completed by the start of voluntary workouts in April, it does not sound as if the passing of that self-imposed deadline has stalled negotiations in any way.

Williams, who will not turn 26 until December, set new career-highs in sacks (12) and quarterback hits (28) in 2022, and he also earned a strong 77.7 rush defense grade from Pro Football Focus. PFF considered Williams the fourth-best interior defender last season, two spots behind Lawrence but above Simmons (10th-best) and well ahead of Payne (60th-best).

Latest On Jets, DT Quinnen Williams

The defensive tackle market has seen a number of monster deals recently, including the $94MM extension agreed to on Friday by Titans Pro Bowler Jeffery Simmons. That will likely affect talks between the Jets and Quinnen Williams, who could be the next in line at the position to secure a sizeable raise.
Williams is set to play on the fifth-year option in 2023, which will earn him $9.6MM. A new deal will comfortably outpace that figure, considering his age (25) and ascension into an All-Pro producer this past season. The Alabama product set new career-highs in sacks (12), tackles for loss (12) and quarterback hits (28) in 2022, which helped earn him his first Pro Bowl nod.

That should put the former No. 3 pick in line for one of the league’s most lucrative contracts on the defensive interior. Extension talks have an unofficial deadline of the team’s offseason program later this month, based on comments Williams himself made earlier this year. The front office has publicly struck an optimistic tone on the matter of getting a deal done soon, though work remains to be done on that front.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini reports that talks are ongoing, but he adds that no deal is imminent at this time. As a result, the strong possibility remains that Williams will not report to New York’s voluntary workouts which start April 17. Urgency could pick up to a degree in the coming days, though plenty of time remains through the remainder of the spring and summer to get an extension done.

The Jets also have other major deals on the agenda at the moment, of course. New York is still in talks with Green Bay on the trade which will send Aaron Rodgers to the Big Apple presuming it is finalized at some point. In addition, moves made possible by the domino effect of acquiring the four-time MVP (such as potentially signing Odell Beckham Jr.) also need to be accounted for.

Regardless of how the Jets’ offense looks in 2023, however, Williams figures to remain as a foundational member of their defense for many years to come. The value of Simmons’ deal – as well as those signed earlier this offseason by Daron Payne with the Commanders and Javon Hargrave with the 49ers – will likely boost the floor of Williams’ asking price, though the Jets should still be relatively well-positioned to meet it.

Jets Optimistic On Extension For DT Quinnen WIlliams

When talking with the media yesterday, Jets general manager Joe Douglas expressed some optimism towards the prospect of extending star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. The 25-year-old is headed towards a contract year in the fifth season of his rookie contract and doesn’t expect to play through it without a new deal.

Williams made it known early after the season ended that he had desires for a new contract. The four-year defender in New York has certainly made a case to become one of the highest paid players at his position, and it sounds like the Jets are more than willing to accommodate. Costello reports that Jets ownership “gave Douglas the green light” for negotiations, and Douglas feels good about it so far.

“We’ve had several good discussions with (Williams’s agent Nicole Lynn) and Quinnen since the season,” Douglas said of the situation. “We feel really good about where we’re at. We feel good that this process is going to play out in the right way.”

It’s important that the process does “play out in the right way” as Williams has reportedly claimed that, barring an extension, he plans to “stay away from the voluntary portion of the offseason program.” With the voluntary offseason program just over a month away, Douglas and company will likely be focused on getting a deal done fairly quickly, with April as a deadline.

The thought that this is a priority for the New York front office should put a smile on Williams’s face. Williams put together some pretty good seasons over the first three years of his NFL career, but he saved his best play for the season just prior to when he wanted a new contract. In his most recent year of play, Williams put up career highs in sacks (12.0), tackles for loss (12), quarterback hits (28), and passes defensed (4), while matching career highs in total tackles (55) and forced fumbles (2). Williams’s career year was good enough to qualify him as the fourth-best interior defender, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), behind only stars of the game Chris Jones and Aaron Donald and fellow fourth-year standout Dexter Lawrence.

When looking at a new contract, we should have a good idea of what Williams could receive. For interior defensive lineman, we often see contracts of three or four years. The current highest annual earner at the position is, of course, Donald with the Rams, who makes $31.67MM per year on a three-year deal. Unfortunately, as Donald is a generational talent who is largely untouched by his colleagues, Williams likely won’t sniff Donald’s numbers. Besides Donald, though, Williams has an opportunity to set a new bar for defensive tackles.

Currently, Colts defender DeForest Buckner and Giants versatile lineman Leonard Williams lead the position in annual average value with $21MM. The Chiefs’ star, Jones, is just behind at $20MM and also headed towards a contract year. Williams will benefit from negotiating a new deal at a later date than Buckner and the Giants’ Williams, as contracts tend to continually rise as time goes on. Williams, of the Jets, should expect his new contract to surmount both players’ contracts on the way to an AAV of $22-24MM.

The Jets are hoping to avoid a hold out of their best defensive player. With April drawing ever nearer, New York will likely be putting forth an extension offer of four years worth around $88-92MM. If Donald gets more serious than just flirting with retirement, Williams stands a chance at becoming the highest paid defensive tackle in the league.

Jets Rumors: QBs, Offseason, Injuries

After a season that saw the Jets start four different quarterbacks throughout the year, general manager Joe Douglas knows that New York has “a lot of work to do” at the position, according to Connor Hughes of SNY. Of the four passers who started games for the Jets this season, only second-year starter Zach Wilson and practice squad quarterback Chris Streveler are set to return to New York in 2023, after Streveler was announced to have signed a futures contract earlier this week. Veterans Joe Flacco and Mike White, on the other hand, are set to hit free agency.

Wilson was benched midway through the season and saw White take over starting duties. When White was injured, Wilson took over as the primary backup but was soon relegated back to the bench as White got healthy and Flacco started the season finale. Despite rumors that the Jets could move on from Wilson in the offseason, Douglas iterated that New York has “never been a team that has given up on talent early.” Hughes claims that the team expects to continue to work with Wilson moving forward. As for Wilson’s chances of starting, Douglas washed his hands of the decision, deferring the call to head coach Robert Saleh, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.

Cimini also noted last week a comment from then-offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, who speculated that it “would’ve benefited” Wilson to allow him to sit and learn from a veteran. Unfortunately, when the team drafted Wilson, they had no such veteran. White had no NFL experience at the time, despite having been in the league for three years, and the only other quarterback on the roster was James Morgan. The team eventually brought in that experience, signing Josh Johnson late in that year’s training camp and trading midseason to bring in Flacco. LaFleur claimed he hasn’t done a good enough job of developing Wilson, saying that if any position player isn’t producing to the expected level, it’s a failure of the coach.

Wilson could potentially see his competition from this season return. White, who took the reins from Wilson this year, told Cimini that there is mutual interest in his return to the Jets from free agency. He also noted that situations change quickly in the league, hinting that he will keep his eyes open for other opportunities.

Here are a few other rumors from the Jets’ building as the franchise readies for the offseason:

  • Cimini took to ESPN as the Jets’ regular season came to an end and laid out the offseason plan for New York. Setting aside the search for a starting quarterback, mentioned in part above, and the search for a new course on offense after the firing of LaFleur, the Jets’ biggest focus will be free agency and salary cap space. To create cap space for free agent shopping, some guys with big cap hits may find themselves on the chopping block. Cutting players like wide receiver Corey Davis and offensive tackle Duane Brown could result in cap savings of $10.5MM and $5.3MM, respectively. Even players who have made significant contributions may find themselves in danger because of their salaries. Defensive end Carl Lawson could provide $15MM of cap savings, safety Jordan Whitehead $7.5MM, and return specialist Braxton Berrios $5MM. Not to mention star linebacker C.J. Mosley who is set to have a 2023 cap charge totaling $21.5MM.
  • In terms of what to look for in free agency, offensive line struggles severely hampered the team’s success this year. Starting guards Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker should return next season. After undergoing triceps surgery, Vera-Tucker is expected to be back in time for training camp, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Tackle Mekhi Becton is a question mark after missing the team’s last 33 games due to injuries and weight issues. Becton told Hughes he feels “real good” after losing a “lot” of weight and will be ready for Organized Team Activities. If Becton can’t deliver, the Jets are in trouble as they will watch tackle George Fant hit free agency and Brown could be a cap casualty or could just retire. Starting center Connor McGovern is also set to hit free agency.
  • While offensive line will be an important position to build, their most important signing may come on the defensive line. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will be with the team through next year due to the fifth-round option of his rookie contract, but that may not be enough to satisfy Douglas and company. Williams has established himself as one of the best at his position and will likely expect to be paid like it. Douglas will want to find an extended contract for Williams long before the idea of free agency enters his mind.
  • Lawson had a strong first year in New York despite coming back from an Achilles injury. Lawson’s recovery hit a snag when he needed a second surgery. He even tweaked something in rehab and was expected to miss a chunk of the season, according to Hughes. Despite not even running until about a month before camp, Lawson started all 17 games and recorded his highest sack total since his rookie season.
  • Running back Breece Hall‘s rookie season was cut short after the second-round pick suffered a torn ACL in October. According to Costello, Hall claims that he will be ready for the start of next year.