Jeffery Simmons’ huge deal affects NY Jets’ Quinnen Williams talks

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By: Michael Nania

The NFL’s defensive tackle market has shifted

The New York Jets‘ contract negotiations with Quinnen Williams will undoubtedly be affected by the monster deal Jeffery Simmons signed with the Tennessee Titans on Friday.

Simmons reset the market for non-Aaron Donald defensive tackles with a four-year, $94 million contract extension that includes $66 million guaranteed. Since the deal is tacked onto Simmons’ fifth-year option in 2023, it puts him under contract with the Titans through 2027.

Simmons’ deal now ranks No. 2 among all defensive tackles in total value ($94M), average annual value ($23.5M), and total guarantees ($66M) – of course, he trails only Donald in each category.

Williams and his camp will surely be looking to surpass Simmons’ contract. In 2022, Simmons was a second-team All-Pro while Williams was a first-team All-Pro. Both players are 25 years old and were first-round draft picks in 2019.

Simmons boasts a more established track record of accolades, as he was also a second-team All-Pro in 2021 while Williams had not made an All-Pro or Pro Bowl team before 2022. But Williams was certainly the more dominant player this past season, amassing better production despite playing 150 fewer snaps:

  • Quinnen Williams: 12.0 sacks, 28 QB hits, 52 total pressures, and 55 tackles on 690 defensive snaps
  • Jeffery Simmons: 7.5 sacks, 14 QB hits, 53 total pressures, and 54 tackles on 840 defensive snaps

The Jets picked up Williams’ fifth-year option for 2023 last April, which carries a cap hit of $9.6 million.

Simmons’ mammoth deal is the second notable extension signed by a defensive tackle this offseason. Washington’s Daron Payne signed a four-year, $90 million extension with $59 million guaranteed. Javon Hargrave also signed a lucrative contract as a free agent, moving from Philadelphia to San Francisco on a four-year, $84 million deal with $40 million guaranteed.

Coming off a first-team All-Pro season and having watched plenty of other star DTs get paid this offseason, it’s hard to imagine Williams will be eager to show up at training camp without a new contract. Now that Simmons has signed, the clock is ticking. The market has been firmly established and it’s time for the Jets to hammer out a deal.

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