Addressing his contract situation for the first time, Williams said Monday he will sit out voluntary workouts if he doesn’t have a contract extension by then.
“I feel like I deserve to get a contract done by the offseason program just because I did everything right on the field and I did everything right off the field,” Williams said one day after the Jets finished the season with a six-game losing streak.
Williams, 25, drafted third overall in 2019, is due to make a guaranteed $9.6 million in 2023 — the amount of his fifth-year option.
He declined to comment on whether he wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid defensive tackle, saying, “I want to be compensated for what I am.”
Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald has the highest average annual salary among defensive tackles at $31.7 million per year. Williams is thought to be seeking more than $21 million per year, the second-highest salary among defensive tackles (New York Giants Leonard Williams and Indianapolis Colts DeForest Buckner).
Quinnen Williams didn’t rule out the possibility of skipping mandatory offseason events. He said it will be wait-and-see.
Williams made it clear that he wants to remain with the Jets, saying, “I love this organization.” He said he believes in the coaching staff and envisions the 2023 defensive line as “the New York Sack Exchange 2.0.”
“I definitely want to be part of this for years to come,” he said.
He said he has faith that the organization will reward him, though he noted the team’s poor history of re-signing its first-round picks. The eight first-round picks before Williams didn’t receive second contracts from the Jets.
Williams enjoyed a career year in 2022, leading the team with 12 sacks and 28 quarterback hits. He was voted the team MVP by teammates and named to his first Pro Bowl.