$18 Million Jets ‘Playmaker’ Has Emerged as a Potential Pro Bowler

Quincy Williams, Jets

Getty New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams reacting in the middle of a presser.

The New York Jets overall season might not be going according to plan so far but there have been a few bright spots.

Perhaps the brightest of which has been the evolution of linebacker Quincy Williams.

This offseason he was richly rewarded with a three-year contract extension for $18 million with $9 million of that in total guarantees.

The former Murray State product has already paid immediate dividends on that investment. Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic recently highlighted him as a player that has done his job at a “particularly high level.”

Williams leads the team in tackles (26) and has been a disruptive force on the defensive side of the ball.

Rosenblatt said if Williams can stay on this pace, “there might be a Pro Bowl in his future.”

Williams Is Playing His Best Ball for the Jets in 2023

The 27-year-old has taken his game to another level in year No. 5.

According to the Pro Football Focus rankings, Williams is the fourth best player at his position this season through the first three weeks.

An area that Williams has struggled in the past has become a strength. The talented linebacker has a 91.1 coverage grade which is the highest mark at his position in 2023 and the next closest player has an 85.4.

In the other category grades, Williams has an 83.7 overall, 58.3 run defense, and a 48.9 pass rush.

The middle of the defense is where the biggest question marks on the defense were for the Jets heading into the season.

Gang Green’s cornerbacks and defensive linemen are considered among the best in the league. However, CJ Mosley is getting older, and Williams was considered a raw piece of clay.

With Mosley and Williams both proving their worth, the sky is the limit on the defensive side of the ball this year.

Williams Is One of the Jets Best Pickups

Williams initially entered the league as the No. 98 overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft.

He spent the first two years of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams served mostly in a reserve role and struggled to live up to the billing. Ahead of his third season, the Jaguars released him during final roster cuts.

The next day the Jets claimed him off of waivers. Rosenblatt called that one of Joe Douglas’ “best moves” as the general manager of the team.

When Quincy first arrived, he was just viewed as the brother of bigger star Quinnen Williams. However, over the years he has made a name for himself.

He always had all the athletic traits with speed and tacking ability, but he played reckless on the field. Williams ran after the ball and then asked questions later.

That mentality often got him caught in bad scenarios where he could be had with pump fakes and play misdirection.

Rosenblatt said he’s second among linebackers this season in stops and only has a single missed tackle. Last year he had 17 of those.

When players get paid, like Williams did this offseason, it can go in a lot of different directions. Whether that be complacency or perhaps being more motivated to reach a new level.

“Guys can go one or two ways (after a new deal) and he’s gone the way of: ‘I want to become even better. I want to become the best linebacker in this league,’” Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said via The Athletic. “And you’re seeing signs of that, you’re seeing moments of that where he can definitely be in that conversation.”

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