Jets All-or-Nothing Bruiser Is Tackling His Way Towards an Extension

Quincy Williams

Getty New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams could be playing his way towards an extension.

The New York Jets have a whole bunch of areas that they can improve but one position that could still use some depth is linebacker.

Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh first chose to address this unit in free agency signing former first-round talent Jarrad Davis. Then in the 2021 NFL draft, the Jets selected both Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen — two safety converts that would have to put on some weight and learn the position over time.

Those plans quickly failed when Davis suffered an ankle injury during the preseason and the two rookies were banged up not long after, leading to option three. As different NFL teams decided on final cuts ahead of Week 1, Douglas scoured the waiver wire for some help and was rewarded with an upside claim.

The Jacksonville Jaguars elected to cut former 2019 third-round draft pick, Quincy Williams, a linebacker out of Murray State and older brother of Gang Green star Quinnen Williams.

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‘Finish Him’


2021 One Jets Drive: Episode 11 | The New York Jets | NFLAnyone who’s ever dawned “the shield” had a “why”. At this level, the love of the game just isn’t enough. The stakes are too high. The “why’s” are more important than ever. Subscribe to the New York Jets YT Channel: bit.ly/2KRtBJd For more Jets NFL Action: bit.ly/2rkCbal #NewYorkJets #Jets #NFL For more Jets action: newyorkjets.com/2021-12-17T01:00:07Z

There’s no denying that Quincy Williams is a hard-hitting thumper. At times, his all-or-nothing style can be detrimental but the high-octane linebacker has been steadily learning under the guidance of DC Jeff Ulbrich and Saleh.

In episode 11 of One Jets Drive, the documentary team featured Williams heavily, from his journey at Murray State to his recent rise with the Jets. The linebacker explained the unique uppercut celebration he does after a big tackle.

“The feeling when I get to do the move, it’s amazing, it’s like — first of all, it’s earned number one because it starts with my preparation. I know for a fact the ball is going this way, I know for a fact I got the right angle, and I know the hit is [going to] be massive. When I hit [players] it’s either going to be ESPN top 10 or it’s going to be ESPN not top 10. If I miss, it’s going to be a miss, but if I hit, it’s going to be lit,” he told the camera crew.

Williams claimed that he got the uppercut “finisher” from playing the video games “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat.”

The ESPN top 10 (or not) description fits Williams’ play style to a T. He’s a bit of a loose cannon that operates with reckless abandon and while that part of his game could use some refining, the raw traits are one of a kind.

Ulbrich has touted the linebacker for his physical gifts throughout the season, noting that he urged the Atlanta Falcons to draft Williams back in 2019. Well, Douglas listened to his DC and now Gang Green is a family business for the two Birmingham brothers.

“The biggest thing for us is the competitive nature,” Quincy voiced about his younger brother Quinnen. “We always have to do something better than the other person… [it’s] not a hate mentality but it’s more like, I want to see you do better so I’m gonna do better.”

In other words, the two inspire each other to strive for greatness and considering Quincy’s clear improvements with the Jets after leaving Jacksonville as a bust, it’s working.

The 25-year old linebacker told the audience that getting cut by the Jaguars was a “blessing in disguise,” noting that the Jets are his “second chance.”

He continued: “The biggest thing is not being complacent and not being comfortable where I’m at right now. Yeah, I made a huge jump from last year to now, but now it’s like, can you keep going forward, can you be consistent and keep going… At first, the goal was to get in the NFL, now the goal is to become a Pro Bowler, then the goal is to be in the Super Bowl so there [are] things I can get better at… I want to be able to lead my team.”

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Can Williams Turn Into a Long-Term Piece?

Let’s be honest, this linebacker core needs to find its generals of the future — and that’s not C.J. Mosley.

As intelligent as the MIKE-backer is and as competent a tackler he is, his contract well-exceeds his level of play. It may not happen in 2022 but at some point, Douglas will have to part ways with Mosley to save money.

He’ll be 30 years old next season and based on his contract, my guess is he’s gone in 2023 at the latest. The Jets have a clear out in his contract that offseason and they’d be foolish to pay an over-the-hill linebacker $18.5 million at age 31.

Remember, this scheme only requires two sturdy linebackers more often than not, so that means Saleh has at least one more season to develop his next Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, or a Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright duo resembling a similar model in Seattle.

Perhaps, Williams could be part of that pairing, but he doesn’t seem like the captain-type calling the shots. With all due respect, Quincy is a motivator and a bruiser that has enough speed to cover or blitz when needed.

He’s a solid Robin, but the Jets need to find Batman — Mosley’s eventual replacement. Could that be the rookie Sherwood someday, whose greatest strength may be his knowledge of the game and grasp of the playbook?

Or is that someone who isn’t on the roster? A future draft pick like Devin Lloyd, a free-agent acquisition or trade target.

Douglas and Saleh have plenty of time to make this decision but if Williams continues to be the sparkplug of this defense, they may consider offering him an early extension sometime in 2022. Currently, the Murray State product is set to make $965,000 in his walk-year next season.

After all, another former Douglas waiver claim named John Franklin-Myers just earned a new four-year deal.

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