Quinnen Williams wants what Dexter Lawrence just got from the New York Giants, but reports indicate the New York Jets are not close to giving him a big contract extension just yet.
Lawrence is officially a $90 million man with the Giants after inking a new four-year extension last week. It ties him with Washington Commanders tackle Daron Payne for the third-highest average annual value of a contract in the NFL. Only Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald and Tennessee Titans’ Jeffery Simmons are higher.
According to ESPN, the Jets and Williams are not close to a deal, though GM Joe Douglas said that he is “optimistic and hopeful” something can get done soon.
Williams is skipping the team’s voluntary workouts, and though they may not be mandatory, his deal, or lack thereof, could be a driving factor behind that decision.
The deals for Lawrence, Simmons and Payne have certainly dictated what the elite defensive tackle market is, and Williams falls in that category.
The third overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft had a career year in 2022, earning first-team All-Pro honors after totaling 12 sacks, 55 combined tackles, 28 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four passes defended in 16 games.
However, the Jets have a bit of leverage with Williams as he is currently set to play on his fifth-year option in 2023, and the team can franchise tag him in 2024 if it chooses.
But Lawrence was in the same situation with the Giants as he was picked 14 selections later than Williams in the same 2019 draft. Simmons was taken 19th overall by the Titans that year as well.
Williams has been arguably better than both Lawrence and Simmons, so the matter is more pressing despite the Jets’ ability to exercise the franchise tag. No one wants a star player, especially one as impactful as Williams, disgruntled because of their contract.
The Jets have also been occupied this offseason, making sure that Aaron Rodgers is in place as the team’s starting quarterback. They’ve also flexed their financial muscle elsewhere with players like Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman and even his brother, Quincy Williams, who got a three-year, $18 million deal after a successful 2022 season.
There’s obviously time before training camp starts, let alone the regular season, but teams and players alike would love to find common ground when contract negotiations are at hand. Perhaps Douglas and the Jets do figure out what Williams wants, but his worth has been put forth in other deals that have seen ink to paper.
Williams is slated to make $9.5 million on his fifth-year option this season.