Are the Jets about to make Quinnen Williams the highest-paid DT in the NFL? | You Pod to Win the Game

Charles Robinson and Jori Epstein outline the current situation in Florham Park, where New York Jets defensive tackle and 2023 first-team All-Pro Quinnen Williams has removed all mention of the Jets from his social media account as he seeks a new contract. Are the Jets ready to make Williams the highest-paid interior defensive lineman in the NFL? Charles and Jori attempt to determine when the extension could actually go through. Listen to You Pod to Win the Game on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Video transcript


CHARLES ROBINSON: Wanted to get to Quinnen Williams, obviously, the defensive tackle for the New York Jets, who was playing at, by the way, a Defensive Player of the Year caliber at one point last season. Contract talks are dragging, does not surprise me. Because you're talking about, I would guess, a deal that would make him the highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL.

He's removed references to the Jets from his social media accounts. I think it's there to grab some attention, maybe put a little pressure on the team. Are you actually going to get a deal done here? I expect it will eventually, but it does not surprise me. I think maybe some of the hardest deals to do are defensive tackle deals, because you really have Aaron Donald. I think you have Chris Jones. And then you have to decide after that what players in the league can truly be game wreckers from the defensive tackle position.

I do think this is one of them. However, he does not have two or three years of dominance put in that would make you go, sure, make him the highest paid defensive tackle in the game. No problem. I think part of this, though, is when you look at the fifth-year option, I think it's like what, $9.6 million? So, there's a reason why you retweet the Dexter Lawrence deal. Because you're sitting there and you're saying, OK, I have a player here who's making nearly $22 million a season. And I think, at the very least, I'm on par with that. I would guess that's the measuring stick for him.

I get it. You played a lot of years. You incur a lot of damage playing defensive tackle. You want to get compensated as soon as possible, or at the very least, lock in that money. They're going to owe Aaron Rodgers a lot of money in two years. I mean, you're talking two years of salary that is top end. I would suspect they would like to be able to play Quinnen through the fifth-year option and maybe even tag him once, before doing the long-term deal.

So, two things I would look at, mandatory full squads, right, in June. I don't know what their exact date is. But I'm talking about the mandatory full-squad minicamp. Does he show to that, number one? And then does he show to training camp, number two? He has to show for the full squads in June, I think, to keep the lines of negotiation open. I think if he goes at it, and says, I'm not going to show up for the full squads, I think then it gets a lot dirtier. It gets a little messy, and maybe there's some hard feelings, and he doesn't show up in training camp.

So, there's a lot to be played out here. If it were maybe a few other spendy organizations, I would say yeah, it gets done easily. But it is a little bit different with Jets ownership, and it's not as simple as the general manager going, hey, we're just going to pay all our guys, and it's going to get done. So, what do you think? Is your read on this that-- I don't think there's any simplicity to this whatsoever after the Rodgers deal. I think if they hadn't gotten the Rodgers deal done, I think that would have been different. But when they added all that money in the next two years, it changed things a little bit.

JORI EPSTEIN: Well, they still have the fifth-year option. They still have a tag. They could even tag him twice if they want.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, two. Right.

JORI EPSTEIN: And so, the team still has control for three years. Now, that doesn't mean it's the ideal situation. I think that if they're going to do a deal, one impetus from the team side to do a deal would be, OK, what if you extend him? And maybe it's an extension, so you're still keeping his rate for this fifth year, even if there's a signing bonus. And let's say it's a four-year deal beyond that, but you don't really have the cap hit, God forbid, Aaron Rodgers gets hurt this year.

Well, do you really want to spend one of Quinnen Williams' years of contracts on that? And you have to be considering those things. So, I don't think it's as straightforward as this makes sense for everyone to get done. But I think if it gets done, that would be a model that makes sense.

CHARLES ROBINSON: He's not going anywhere. I can tell you that. They're going to pay him before he ends up anywhere else.