In a perfect world, the New York Jets find a way to reach common ground with their disgruntled star defensive tackle. But after making Quinnen Williams the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 25-year-old All-Pro is headed into the final year of his rookie contract.
Without reaching a long-term agreement ahead of Week 1, the Jets may be faced with the risk of losing their Pro Bowl DT at the end of the season, barring a franchise tag placement. Yet, without a new contract in place, the Jets also run the risk of having one of their defensive leaders threaten to hold out of training camp and preseason play while politicking for a new contract.
The frustration seems to have gone public on Monday, with Williams removing the New York Jets from his social media bio on Twitter. Instead of it reading “Defensive tackle for the New York Jets,” the caption now reads “Defensive tackle for the……….” In other words, Williams seems to be sending a very public message to the Jets’ front office.
Williams is said to be seeking a contract extension worth anywhere from $25 million to $30M per season, per Fox Sports. If so, this would place him as the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in football, just ahead of Tennessee’s Jeffery Simmons and behind Los Angeles’ Aaron Donald.
Should the two sides fail to see eye-to-eye on contract value, a trade may become the best solution. Here are three ideal fits for the game-wrecking defensive lineman.
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Seattle Seahawks make a big addition to defense
Heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks were a popular choice to possibly land Georgia DT Jalen Carter. But some pre-draft concerns popped up, and the Seahawks still had other needs to address, so they took cornerback Devon Witherspoon instead.
But perhaps the Seahawks liked the idea of adding a sack specialist to their defensive front, it’s possible they just thought it made more sense to take Witherspoon instead of what may have been a risk with Carter. Only the Seahawks know how they viewed/ranked prospects.
Only now, if a proven trench warrior like Quinnen Williams becomes available, the Seahawks could get much more aggressive. The Seahawks do have an extra third-round pick in 2024 and could toss in a sweetener, such as a current player or more future draft selections in an effort to land Williams.
Related: 2023 NFL defense rankings: Evaluating all 32 NFL teams
Houston Texans go for gold with Quinnen Williams
After trading their 2024 first-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals so they could emerge with both C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr., the message in Houston is clear. The Texans expect to be much better in 2023 under first-year coach DeMeco Ryans, who brings his defensive principles from San Francisco, who had the No. 1 ranked defense in 2022.
Ryans and the 49ers found a lot of success by utilizing a rotation of effective defensive linemen to generate pressure. Anderson can help do this off the edge, but the Texans may realize they don’t have enough talent along the interior.
- Quinnen Williams stats last season: 55 tackles (12 TFL), 12 sacks, 2 FF, 4 PD
That’s where trading for Quinnen Williams could make a lot of sense. The Texans already added Sheldon Rankins via free agency, who played the last two years alongside Williams in New York, but adding his former teammate could completely overhaul Houston’s defensive line, which should only help the secondary cover more ground too.
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Detroit Lions get their pressure generator in the trenches
The Detroit Lions, another team that was heavily linked to Jalen Carter before the draft kicked off, had one of the worst defenses in the NFL a season ago. Yet, two of their top three draft picks were spent on the offensive side of the ball.
In 2022, the Lions ranked in the middle of the pack in sacks per game, and while they can expect some surge from Aidan Hutchinson as he enters his second season, adding Quinnen Williams would reduce the attention on the young Lion.
- Quinnen Williams’ contract: $9.5 million in 2023 (last year of contract before free agency)
In addition to having an extra third-round pick in 2024, the Lions still have over $20 million in cap space this season. Why not cash in some of these extra assets in an effort to have a stronger chance at stealing the NFC North Divisional crown this year?