The 2021 season is officially over for the New York Jets and they have some big-time business decisions to address regarding the short and long-term future of the organization.
One of those potential decisions includes former first-rounder Quinnen Williams. This offseason both sides will be eligible for the first time to negotiate a contract extension if they so choose.
The big man out of Alabama still has two more years left on his deal, but he has shown some real moments of brilliance since being the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
Although after the game, Williams had some pretty candid comments about his future and what more he still hopes to accomplish.
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A Rare Case of Truth Serum
In professional sports today, athletes are trained for the media. They are taught by their sports teams and agencies to reveal the least amount of information possible and say a bunch of overused football cliches.
When they follow those instructions those players rarely make headlines and the world keeps spinning. Although every once in a while a player will shed all the BS and give some real truths.
That very thing happened after the Week 18 game versus the Buffalo Bills that marked the end of Williams’ third season with the Jets. In a rare moment he shared brutal honesty about his own game and what needs to happen:
“I have to take that extra step to become the player I need to be and the player I know I can be. I feel like I’m [heading] in the right direction but it is time to start taking over games and be that dominant defensive tackle I know I can be. I’m probably up there in the top-10 DTs, but I have higher goals than that. I need to be that player that can help the defense by making more explosive and electric plays that I know I can make.”
Williams has been a very good player in the pros and compares favorably to his contemporaries at the position.
The problem is he hasn’t lived up to the billing of a No. 3 overall draft choice, he even admitted that during his post-game interview and there is nothing wrong with that.
Although I think it is worth noting that players don’t get to pick where and when they get selected. They just have to deal with the after-effects, which in this case means extremely high expectations.
It is pretty neat to see a player have the incredible self-awareness to openly admit to the media he hasn’t lived up to his draft status or his own standards for that matter. Williams has visualized and dreamt of the player he can be in this league and now it is all about putting that product on the football field on a consistent basis.
Time to Bet on Yourself
Williams probably shouldn’t talk shop with the Jets this offseason in terms of a potential contract extension unless they come to the table with a crazy offer, which seems unlikely.
In 2022 he’ll be in the second year of the scheme and should have much better talent around him thanks to the upcoming NFL draft and free agency.
If I was a betting man, it seems pretty likely that Williams is set to have a career year in 2022. If that comes to fruition, the 24-year-old will have a ton of leverage heading into those contract talks next offseason.
Carl Lawson should be back, one of their top needs is at EDGE rusher, and they project to have over $60 million in cap space. All of that should bring a huge talent infusion that should make Williams’ job even easier.
If Q had six sacks in this defense without all of those guys, imagine what he is going to have with that talent back? A very scary thought for opposing offensive coordinators next season.