Quinnen Williams wants what Dexter Lawrence just got from the New York Giants, but reports indicate the New York Jets aren’t close to giving him a big contract extension just yet.
Lawrence is officially a $90 million man with the Giants after signing a new four-year extension last week. He is tied with Washington Commanders tackle Daron Payne for the third-highest average annual contract value in the NFL. Only Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Jeffery Simmons of the Tennessee Titans are higher.
According to ESPN, the Jets and Williams are nowhere near an agreement, though general manager Joe Douglas said he is «hopeful and optimistic» something can be done soon.
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Williams is skipping voluntary team workouts, and while they may not be mandatory, his contract, or lack thereof, could be a determining factor behind that decision.
The Lawrence, Simmons and Payne deals have certainly dictated what the elite defensive tackle market is, and Williams falls into that category.
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The third overall pick in 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 defensed in 16 games.
The Jets do have a bit of leverage with Williams, though, as he’s currently set to play their fifth-year option in 2023, and the team can franchise tag him in 2024 if they choose.
But Lawrence was in the same situation with the Giants, having been taken 14 picks later than Williams in the same 2019 draft. Simmons was also ranked 19th overall by the Titans that year.
Williams has arguably been better than Lawrence and Simmons, so the issue is more pressing despite the Jets’ ability to exercise the franchise tag. Nobody wants a star player, especially one as impactful as Williams, unhappy with his contract.
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The Jets have been busy this offseason as well, making sure Aaron Rodgers is in place as the team’s starting quarterback. They’ve also shown their financial strength elsewhere with the likes of Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman and even his brother Quincy Williams, who landed a three-year, $18 million deal after a successful 2022 season.
Obviously, there’s time before training camp begins, let alone the regular season, but the teams and players would love to find common ground when contract negotiations are at hand. Douglas and the Jets may realize what Williams wants, but his worth has been on display in other deals that have seen ink on paper.
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Williams is scheduled to earn $9.5 million on his fifth-year option this season.