New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams said he will not report to voluntary offseason workouts without a contract extension.
Williams told reporters Monday:
"Everybody knows I'm a team guy, man. But I do want to get a contract done before the offseason program. I do feel like I deserve to get a contract done before the offseason program just because I did everything right on the field and everything right off the field. Having the organization behind me just like I'm behind them to show that they really support me is a major thing for me."
Williams is set to earn $9.6 million in 2023 while playing out the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. The 25-year-old recorded 55 tackles and a career-high 12 sacks on his way to making his first Pro Bowl this season.
"We all love Quinnen," Jets general manager Joe Douglas said. "He's 25. He's had a fantastic season. We still think there's a lot of upside for him. We want Quinnen here."
It's unlikely the Jets will come anywhere near matching Aaron Donald's $31.7 average annual salary to make Williams the NFL's highest-paid defensive tackle. That said, he's likely earned a deal that would put him in the $20 million-average range, which puts him in line with DeForest Buckner ($21 million) and Chris Jones ($20 million), who are second and third, respectively, at the position.
Williams' decision to put his business out in the open is interesting given the two sides likely are only at the infancy of extension talks. While he was in no danger of being considered a bust, the 2022 season was a massive improvement over his previous performance level. He had more quarterback hits (28) this season than he did in 2020 and 2021 combined (26).
Being so public in his plans could create a bit of an adversarial negotiation, and that might not be the best tack given the Jets could always use their franchise tag on him in 2024 if talks fail.