The New York Jets are riding high this offseason after landing MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a blockbuster move that has thrust them into the thick of the Super Bowl conversation. However, it's not all rosy at MetLife Stadium. New York seems to be at a fork in the road with star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who is entering the final year of his deal.
Williams had his fifth-year option picked up last offseason and is currently slated to make $9.954 million in 2023 before possibly facing unrestricted free agency next offseason. It does appear that the 25-year-old is seeking some long-term security as he isof the Jets offseason program until he and his camp can agree to a new contract.
While things were already a bit icy, Williams firmly put his future in New York in doubt by recently updating his social media bio to say "Defensive Tackle for ………………." alluding to the notion that he could be playing elsewhere in 2023.
Williams also notably retweeted a report that highlighted fellow All-Pro defensive tackle and 2019 draft classmate Dexter Lawrence agreeing to a four-year, $90 million extension with the Giants that made him the third highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, likely a similar deal to what he is seeking himself. He also posted a GIF of himself sipping tea reacting to GM Joe Douglas saying the team was "optimistic" about getting a deal done with Williams last month.
"Everybody knows I'm a team guy. Everybody knows that I believe in the team and want to put the team first and different things like that, but I do want to get a contract done before the offseason program," Williams said after the season, via SNY. "I feel like I deserve to get a contract done before the offseason program just because I did everything right on the field, everything right off the field, and just having the organization behind me just like I'm behind them to show that they really support me and different things like that is an amazing thing for me. I just want to be compensated for what I am."
Williams was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in 2019 out of Alabama. The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder is coming off a stellar season in 2022 where he was named a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler for the first time in his career after totaling a career-high 12 sacks and 28 quarterback hits.
Williams landing spots
Chicago passed on selecting defensive lineman Jalen Carter at the NFL Draft and instead moved down to take offensive tackle Darnell Wright. They did bring aboard a couple of defensive tackles on Day 2 with Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens, but could stand to improve that piece of their defense even more. At just 25 years old, Williams would fit seamlessly into the Bears young nucleus, and head coach Matt Eberflus, a former defensive coordinator, would certainly love to bring in a player of this caliber to help jumpstart their defense for 2023 and beyond. The Bears also currently have the most cap space in the NFL and could give Williams the contract he seeks.
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The Texans may have already made their big splash of the offseason by trading up to No. 3 to select Will Anderson, but let's not sleep on head coach DeMeco Ryans, a former Alabama linebacker, adding another star from the Crimson Tide to help create a lockdown defense in Houston. Similar to Chicago, Williams would fit into a young Texans team that is just now creating its foundation with a first-year head coach in Ryans and a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud.
Judging by the NFL schedule makers having the Lions take on the Chiefs in the 2023 opener, many are expecting Detroit to take a leap in 2023. They just spent the draft adding a couple of high-end skill position players in running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta, while also adding off-ball linebacker Jack Campbell on Day 1 and safety Brian Branch on Day 2. One area where they do seem to be lacking a bit, however, is at defensive tackle. Inserting Williams into a defensive line that already has Aidan Hutchinson would strike fear into any opposing quarterback and could very well put Dan Campbell's team over the top in the NFC North. Also, Lions GM Brad Homes came from a Rams front office that drafted Aaron Donald, so he is well aware of what kind of an impact a star defensive tackle can bring to a team.
Seattle is a team similar to Detroit that many expect to be a serious player in the conference in 2023. They are in the midst of a fantastic offseason where they've added a top-tier corner (Devon Witherspoon) and wide receiver (Jaxson Smith-Njigba) at the NFL Draft and added defensive end Dre'Mont Jones while retaining quarterback Geno Smith. A deal for Williams would drastically improve a Seattle defense that ranked 21st in DVOA last season that much more fearsome and could inch them closer to rivaling the 49ers in the NFC West.