Rich CiminiESPN staff writer4 minutes to read
Florham Park, NJ – N.Y The New York Jets have locked All-Pro defensive tackle Quinn Williams with a four-year, $96 million contract extension that includes a guaranteed $66 million, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
It’s the largest guarantee in franchise history, surpassing linebacker CJ Mosley’s $51 million as a free agent in 2019.
Williams, 25, who has one year left on his rookie contract, is now signed through the 2027 season.
The extension makes Williams the second best paid defensive tackle in the NFL, based on average annual value. At $24 million a season, he trails Tennessee’s Jeffrey Simmons ($23.5 million) for second place, behind Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald ($31.7 million).
The Jets now have two of the highest-paid players at their positions at Williams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million average), whom they acquired in an April deal with the Green Bay Packers.
Williams skipped volunteer exercises for the Jets during the two sides’ negotiations, and more than once expressed his frustration on social media as other top defensive tackles led to huge stretches. He deleted the Jets from his Twitter bio, changing it to, “Defensive tackle of….” He put the Jets back in his bio on Thursday shortly before news of his extension.
Offseasons, Simmons, Dexter Lawrence (New York Giants) and Daron Payne (Washington Chiefs) scored new deals between $22.5 million and $23.5 million per year. Simmons, Lawrence and Williams were first round picks in 2019.
The Jets re-signed Williams’ brother, linebacker Quincy Williams, to a three-year, $18 million contract.
Publicly, Jets officials have remained optimistic throughout the process, vowing to get it through even though both sides spent at least a month in April/May without speaking, according to a source. On June 6, Coach Robert Salih said “It’s over. He’ll be here for camp, he’ll be ready to go, and as soon as he gets there, I’m sure he’ll be the same guy he’s been a year ago.”
The Jets defense, which finished fourth last season in terms of space allowed and scoring, now has one of its cornerstones for the foreseeable future.
Money aside, the Williams deal is also significant because the Jets aren’t known for keeping their top picks. They are the only team not to re-sign any first-rounders from 2012 to 2018 to a second contract, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The last to receive an extension was defensive lineman Muhammed Wilkerson, who was picked in 2011.
This marks the first time that General Manager Joe Douglas, who took over in 2019, has re-signed a Jets draft pick to a multi-year extension. Of the 55 draft picks from 2012 to 2018, only two have received multi-year extensions – wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (6th round pick in 2014) and guard Brian Winters (3rd round in 2013). These extensions predate Douglas.
After strong years in 2020 and 2021, Williams exploded in 2022, finishing with a team with 12 sacks (third among NFL inside liners). His compression ratio (13.4%) was the highest among qualified indoor liners, according to NextGen Stats.
Williams made his first Pro Bowl and was named first team All-Pro. Defensive coordinator Jeff Olbrich called it “one of the best defensive performances… I’ve ever been around – and I’ve been around with some really good players.”
Ulbrich likened Williams to former San Francisco 49ers teammate Bryant Young, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February.
Williams was selected third overall in 2019, Mike McCannan’s final draft as GM. The former Alabama All-American has 27.5 sacks in 57 career games.
“We all love Quinn,” Douglas said at the end of the season. “He’s 25, and he’s had a great season. We still think there’s a lot of improvement for him. We want Koenen here.”
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