The New York Jets have two priorities going into the start of the new league year: 1. Trade for Aaron Rodgers and 2. lock up Quinnen Williams to a long-term agreement.
Their second goal just got altered by another negotiating party though.
With the Washington Commanders’ extension agreement with Daron Payne, the price for an athletic, young defensive tackle has just gone through the roof. Payne’s $90 million deal with $60 million in guarantees alters the defensive tackle market in ways that directly affect both Quinnen Williams and the Jets.
Payne is expected to make close to $22.5 million with his new deal, second among others at the position, and $9 million behind Aaron Donald.
For Quinnen Williams, this means his career year in 2022 could be the stepping stone to an even larger per-year number. Both Williams and Payne are 25 and coming off career-highs in sacks, quarterback hits, and tackles. Williams was seventh in voting for defensive player of the year and earned first-team all-pro numbers. Payne just made a pro-bowl.
The awards Williams won this season make negotiating an extension with the Jets more difficult. While Payne has been as dominant as the Jets’ former third-overall selection, having an All-Pro award to a name adds value when that player is looking for a new deal. So a Williams extension could eclipse Payne’s simply because of the value that is given to players who win awards.
Would the Jets dish out $23-25 million a year on a new deal for the former Alabama superstar?
That will be the underlying question that New York will need to answer over the next few months. There is merit to getting a new deal done quickly though with other top interior rushers like Dexter Lawrence waiting for their own extensions. The longer the Jets take on getting an extension done with Quinnen Williams, the higher the price tag will go up for a young pass rusher.
New York would like to get a deal done shortly but Payne’s latest extension will certainly change how negotiations could go. What was thought to be a potential $22 million deal might have gone up closer to $25 for a player that is seen as a cornerstone for the Jets franchise.