In 2023, Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will enter the final year of his rookie deal.
But he has zero plans on playing on lame-duck status next season.
“Everybody knows I’m a team guy,” Williams said on Monday. “Everybody knows that I believe in put the team first, but I do want to get a contract done before the offseason program.
“I feel like I deserve a contract before the offseason program just because I did everything right on the field, everything right off the field. Just having the organization behind me, just like I’m behind them, will show they really support me, would be an amazing thing for me.”
Not only does Williams say he wants to get a deal done before the start of the Jets offseason program next spring, but he would only show up for the voluntary portion of camp if he gets a new contract done. There’s also a chance Williams doesn’t attend the Jets mandatory minicamp either. After the way Williams played during the 2022 season, he certainly deserves a pay raise.
In his fourth year in the league, Williams registered 55 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and a career-high 12 sacks in 16 games. This is coming off a 2021 campaign where Williams had 53 tackles, seven tackles for loss and six sacks.
Williams helped anchor a Jets defense that improved from 32nd in 2021 to fourth this season in yards allowed (311.1) and points per game (18.6).
“I have done everything on the field and off the field that I can do,” Williams said. “I love this organization as I’ve been here four years and I have been through ups and downs.
“I believe in coach [Robert] Saleh, what he has going on and the defense and what they have going on and this organization. As you guys can see, this defense is going to a new level, going from last, last year to top five and I want to be part of that for years to come.”
The Jets are estimated to have $15.2 million in salary cap space this offseason. If they’re going to re-sign Williams, the Jets will need to make some tough decisions regarding some of the players already on their roster.
Gang Green could be looking for a veteran quarterback to compete with Zach Wilson in training camp, so that will take up a lot of cap space. The Jets could also use help on the offensive line, at wide receiver and safety. But they have made it known they want Williams to be in their future plans.
“Quinnen, you can’t say enough good things about,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas said. “Not only the player and what he brings in terms of playing the run, rushing the passer but also the caliber of person he is.
“Ultimately, Quinnen is a big part of our success this year. We are going to get together as a group and go over a plan and move forward. But we are going to do what’s in the best interest of the team and the organization.”