Jets’ Quincy Williams addresses brother’s absence, leadership role on 2023 defense

Jets linebacker Quincy Williams (56) celebrates after the win against the Buffalo Bills.
Jets linebacker Quincy Williams (56) celebrates after the win against the Buffalo Bills.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Quincy Williams hasn’t been a stranger to rebuilds early in his NFL career. He was a part of the 2020 Jaguars team that went 1-15 and hasn’t seen a winning record since coming to the New York Jets in 2021. 

That all could be changing soon though. With the addition of Aaron Rodgers to the franchise, and the return of a majority of the starters on what was a top-ranked defense, Williams understands the foundational pieces have been set for a potential deep playoff run in 2023. 

“From our second year there, we tore everything down and we’re starting to build our foundation. I wanted to come back to see where we can go,” the former third-round pick said. 

Williams signed a three-year, $18 million contract extension with the Jets in March that keeps the linebacker in Florham Parl until the 2025 season. Pro Football Focus graded his 2022 campaign at an above-average 55. In 15 games last season, the former Murray St. product tallied over 100 tackles and three sacks while leading a Jets defense that ranked fourth in the entire NFL.

Part of Williams’ success with the Jets has been his ability to lead along with fellow linebacker C.J. Mosley. He’s already reached out to the new pass-rushing rookie the Jets drafted with the 15th overall pick Will McDonald. Williams has said that he was open to helping any of the rookies out both on and off the field to make them more comfortable jumping into the NFL.

But as solid a player as the linebacker has been throughout his two-year run, the big ticket on the Jets’ 2022 success on defense has been his younger brother. First-team All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is coming off a career year and is amid a contract negotiation that hasn’t resulted in a new deal for the former third-overall pick. 

While the standout defensive tackle has said that he would skip voluntary workouts in the hopes of securing a long-term deal with the team that drafted him, there are other reasons why he’s been away from the team facility to start OTAs.

“Quinnen is great. I talk to him every day but they are having a baby so it’s amazing. That’s kind of what he’s focusing on right now. She should be coming in the next few weeks and that’s kind of our focus right now. We’re very excited about it,” the older Williams brother explained. 

Quincy did not address the contract negotiations between his brother and the team but stated that he was focusing on “helping him where he needs help” in preparation for his baby. 

Quinnen Williams’ contract extension will be a big focus for the Jets as they prepare for voluntary and mandated workouts to begin the 2023 season. But even with a cloud as big as a looming negotiation, the focus for the team, and the Williams family has been to prepare for their new arrival.

The youngest Williams brother has plenty to focus on at home which leaves the on-the-field focus to his brother and making sure the defense doesn’t miss a beat until the Pro-Bowler’s return. 

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