Dexter Lawrence extension latest good news for Quinnen Williams3 min read
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By: Billy Riccette
New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is ready to get paid handsomely. And deservedly so coming off a 12-sack season and being named an All-Pro for the first time. Williams became one of the elite defensive tackles in football in 2022 and the heart and soul of the Jets’ defense.
Williams is still waiting for his new contract and has been away from team facilities in the meantime. However, during his time waiting, he has also seen other top defensive tackles get paid big money, which is at least helping set the market for what Williams can get, if not more.
The most recent example came last week and it happened right across the street (figuratively speaking, of course) when the New York Giants gave Dexter Lawrence a four-year, $90 million contract with $60 million in total guarantees. That works out to $22.5 million per year for Lawrence, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, or 14 selections after the Jets took Williams at No. 3.
Two other defensive tackles, including another from that 2019 draft, also received major contract extensions. In March, the Washington Commanders gave Daron Payne a contract that is now similar to what the Giants just gave Lawrence, four years for $90 million also with $60 million guaranteed. Payne was the No. 13 pick in 2018.
Then in April, the Tennessee Titans handed out a four-year deal worth $94 million to Jeffery Simmons, the 19th pick in 2019, with $66 million in total guarantees. That’s $23.5 million per year for Simmons.
Williams is currently slated to make $9.594 million this year on the fifth-year option. That salary ranks 10th among defensive tackles. His cap hit ranks 15th.
Let’s now compare some numbers between Williams, Lawrence, Payne and Simmons.
|Player||Q. Williams||D. Lawrence||D. Payne||J. Simmons|
|Awards||First-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl||Second-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl||Pro Bowl||2x Second-Team All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowl|
So using these numbers, the only spots where Williams is beaten are Payne has seven more TFLs and Simmons has one more All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection. Payne is the only player besides Williams in this group to have a double-digit sack season (11.5 in 2022). All four players are still 25 years old. Payne turns 26 this month, Simmons in July, Lawrence in November and Williams in December.
So you can easily argue Williams should get more than the $22.5 million per year that Lawrence and Payne are getting and you can even build a case for Williams to surpass Simmons’ $23.5 million per year. It’s not out of the question for Williams to reach $24 million or even $25 million.
Aaron Donald has the highest average annual value at about $31.33 million per year and rightfully so. Williams won’t reach that. But he can easily make a case to be second on the list, which he will by beating out Simmons. And now that most of the top defensive tackles have their new contracts, Williams can now use these contracts to his advantage.
Williams has earned his money and the Jets would be wise to figure out something soon. The last thing they want is contract talks lingering over their heads. Fortunately, it’s only May. But the sooner this gets done, the better.
Originally posted on Jets Wire