Quinnen Williams has been a beast for the Jets this season, leading them in tackles and earning himself a big contract. But when will he get his payday? That’s up to Todd Bowles, who seems reluctant to reward players with more than one-year contracts. Though it’d be tough to leave Williams out of their long term plans after such an impressive debut, will they wait until next year or cut him?
Quinnen Williams has been an absolute stud for the Jets and is worthy of the biggest contract in Jets history. The question is when?
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA (AP) — Take a peek at what’s going on with the New York Jets:
1. Sitting on a gold mine: Quinnen Williams, a defensive lineman, has a lot riding on the Pro Bowl announcement on Monday night. If he is chosen, he will get a $5 million salary hike for his fifth-year option (2023). But the big issue is whether or not he’ll earn a new deal before then.
Williams, who is in his third season, is available for a new contract as soon as the current one expires. That isn’t to say he won’t receive one. General manager Joe Douglas, as we saw with former Jets safety Jamal Adams, will not hand out a mega-contract simply because the fan base demands it.
My take on Williams is that the Jets won’t close the door in 2022, but they’ll wait until 2023, when the salary cap is projected to rise dramatically due to increased television income.
You might make the case for getting it done sooner and recognizing probably the team’s top player.
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Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams is the only inside defensive lineman with more sacks than Williams (13) in the last two years (16). Coach Robert Saleh described Williams, who turns 24 on Tuesday, as having a “old school” approach. Last week, he demonstrated it by playing despite a shoulder injury. He’s the Jets’ nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award off the field. By adopting a proactive approach with Williams, the Jets, who have a history of underpaying their top players, might begin to shift the narrative.
Of course, they don’t have to do anything since Williams is under contract through 2022 ($10.6 million cap) and 2023 ($10.6 million cap), if they execute his fifth-year option by May. (They’ll do it.) His fifth-year pay will be the Tier II level, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap.com, since he has achieved the playing-time standard for 2019 first-round choices. If he makes at least one Pro Bowl in his first three seasons, he moves up to Tier III. Fitzgerald estimates that his 2023 pay will be about $16 million, completely guaranteed.
The Jets could retain Williams for three years at $35.4 million if they do nothing and use the franchise tag in 2024, a cautious prediction based on no Pro Bowl and the 2021 tag level for defensive tackles ($13.9 million). That would be a win-win situation for the organization, given Williams’ current salary of almost $20 million per year. Donald is one of four defensive tackles that earn at least $20 million per year.
If that occurs, it would exceed linebacker C.J. Mosley’s ($17 million) deal as the most in team history (based on average per year).
2. Are there too many voices? After the season, Saleh needs to focus on simplifying the quarterback room’s communication. Zach Wilson is hearing too many voices in his head: offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, senior offensive assistant Matt Cavanaugh (who handles quarterback meetings), quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese, and newly hired assistant John Beck (who was formerly Wilson’s personal coach).
Because there are so many layers around Wilson, even if they are speaking from the same gospel, the message might be skewed. “Anytime there are too many cooks in the kitchen, it may become nasty,” Saleh said, but he doesn’t think that’s the case. He stated they got along great, which is what you’d expect him to say throughout the season. Wilson said he’s OK with the arrangement, but he’s still new to it. He most certainly has no idea what he’s doing. His on-field performance hints that something isn’t quite right.
3. Were you aware? The Jets are looking to end a 10-game division losing run, the most by any AFC East club since the league’s eight-division model was implemented in 2002.
4. Draft implications: The Jets, who are now ranked No. 4 in the draft, still have a chance to move up to No. 2 if they are looking for an edge rusher. (After all, who isn’t?) Edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (Louisiana) are the consensus top two prospects in the 2022 NFL draft (Oregon).
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The Jets (3-10) need to beat the Texans (2-11) and Jaguars (2-11), but it’s possible since the Texans and Jaguars meet on Sunday, and the Jets play the Jaguars the following week. If the Jaguars lose to the Texans but defeat the Jets, and the Jets lose to end 3-14, the Jaguars are likely to be ranked second.
When breaking ties in the draft order, keep in mind that head-to-head does not count; the club with the easier schedule wins the tiebreaker. For the time being, the Jets enjoy a tiny edge.
Who says there’s no need to keep an eye on the scoreboard?
5. In need of a reality check: Denzel Mims, a wide receiver who has yet to score an NFL touchdown, has a high opinion of himself.
He said, “I believe I am a really excellent player.” “I don’t believe there are many individuals who are like me. It will be shown.”
Where would be a better question? It is unlikely that it will be with the Jets.
Prediction: The club will send a free-agent receiver to the Carolina Panthers during the draft, reuniting him with former college coach Matt Rhule. Prior to the trade deadline, the Panthers expressed interest in him.
Mims has clearly not found favor with the Jets’ coaching staff, as he was benched last week following back-to-back infractions. Coaches think he has the ability, but is he willing to pay the price? The NFL isn’t a one-day-a-week profession, and Mims is still figuring out what it takes to succeed in the league.
6. Lack of 2020 vision: The Jets like to brag about their 2021 draft class’s strong playing time totals, but you don’t hear much about the 2020 class — and there’s a reason for that. There isn’t much to see. Only two of the nine choices, fifth-round cornerback Bryce Hall (840) and third-round safety Ashtyn Davis, have played more than 181 offensive or defensive snaps this season (567). Only 303 photographs have been taken by the remainder of the group.
Hall has established himself as a starter, while Davis is only on the field due to injury. The Jets need to go out and grab two safety in the summer unless he has a spectacular finish. Jeff Ulbrich, the defensive coordinator, offered a mixed review.
“There have been instances when he’s really shown us what he’s capable of becoming,” Ulbrich said. “A rangy safety with speed, instinct, and ball skills.” “And then there are times when he has to work on certain aspects of his game.” He recommended tackling and keeping his eyes open. Tackling is a very crucial aspect of safety.
Davis was selected 68th overall in the Leonard Williams deal. That would be a huge blunder.
7. Mosley is a tackle machine, with 30 tackles in the last two games, his greatest two-game span of his career.
8. Miami Blues: It’s hard to imagine, given how bad both teams have been in recent years, but the Jets haven’t won in Miami since the 2014 season’s last game. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik were both dismissed the following day after quarterback Geno Smith threw a perfect game (158.3 passer rating).
9. Father is the wisest: End of the rope Ryan Griffin says his father maintains track of the quarterbacks he’s played with throughout the course of his nine-year career. The total number of players on the list has risen to 20, with 12 with the Texans and eight with the Jets. It was dubbed a “revolving door” by Griffin.
What’s the use of keeping a list? Griffin’s father is “envious” because other tight ends, like Kansas City Chiefs standout Travis Kelce, who was chosen the same year as Griffin, have had quarterback stability (2013).
“I’ve had nine years of this,” Griffin remarked, adding that he isn’t complaining.
Last but not least: “He has unwavering trust in his ability to turn around the New York Jets. We’re all convinced.” Griffin’s thoughts on Saleh
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