Jets agree to 4-year, $96 million contract extension with All-Pro Quinnen Williams, AP source says

FILE - New York Jets' Quinnen Williams speaks to reporters after a practice at the NFL football team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., May 24, 2022. Williams and the Jets have agreed, Thursday, July 13, 2023, to a four-year contract extension worth $96 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) (Seth Wenig, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and the New York Jets agreed Thursday to a four-year contract extension worth $96 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

Williams is now the second-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL behind only the Rams’ Aaron Donald, who is making $31.7 million per year.

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The deal for Williams includes $66 million in guaranteed salary, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce terms of the contract. The guarantee is the largest in Jets history, surpassing the $51 million linebacker C.J. Mosley got as a free agent in 2019.

“Quinnen is the epitome of a Jet,” owner Woody Johnson said in a statement issued by the team in announcing the agreement.

Williams will average $24 million per year on the contract that will keep him in New York through the 2027 season. The Titans’ Jeffery Simmons ($23.5 million), Commanders’ Daron Payne ($22.5 million) and Giants’ Dexter Lawrence ($22.5 million) all received new deals this offseason, but Williams surpassed them all.

“The success of this organization is beyond important to me and completing this deal allows me to turn all my attention to positively impacting that,” Williams said in a statement. “I am thrilled to put forth my best efforts alongside my brothers to get prepared for this season ahead of us.”

Williams did not attend the Jets’ voluntary workouts while waiting for his agent and the Jets to reach an agreement.

Jets coach Robert Saleh was optimistic throughout the offseason, maintaining his belief the sides would have a contract in place before the team opens training camp next week.

“I’ll let the business guys handle all that stuff, but it’s going to get done,” Saleh said last month. “He’ll be here for (training) camp, he’ll be ready to roll. And once he is, I’m sure he’ll be the same guy he was a year ago.”

Williams removed the Jets from his Twitter bio during the offseason, creating some skepticism as to whether he’d get a new deal. That turned to optimism Thursday when he restored “NEW YORK JETS” to his bio shortly before news of the contract extension began to leak.

The 25-year-old Williams had a breakout season after steadily improving the last few years. He was a first-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection and set career highs with 12 sacks, 28 quarterback hits and 12 tackles for loss while establishing himself as one of the game’s elite defensive tackles. He was also selected the Jets’ MVP by his teammates.

The third overall pick out of Alabama in 2019, Williams was entering the final year of his rookie contract and due to make a fully guaranteed $9.6 million after his fifth-year option was picked up by the Jets last offseason.

But he was looking for a much bigger payday after he thought he proved his worth to the Jets.

“I did everything right on and off the field,” Williams said after last season ended. “I want to be compensated for what I am.”

Williams becomes the first Jets first-round draft pick to sign a second contract with the team since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016.

Williams is expected to again anchor a talented defensive line that is among New York’s top strengths this season as the Jets look to end a 12-year postseason drought with quarterback Aaron Rodgers leading the way.

Williams has 27 1/2 career sacks with 60 quarterback hits, 33 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his four NFL seasons.

"He embodies everything we look for in our players,” general manager Joe Douglas said in the team's statement. “He is a leader on and off the field, who does everything asked of him and more. He is a young, ascending player who has shown a consistent ability to dominate the line of scrimmage and help this team win."

The Jets also re-signed Williams' older brother Quincy in March to a three-year deal worth $18 million that included $9 million in guarantees for the linebacker.


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