Quinnen Williams hopes for contract extension before offseason program

Quinnen Williams has become the heart and soul of the New York Jets defense and took a major step forward in his third season in the NFL. Williams went from a very good defensive tackle to an elite defensive tackle.

Now, he wants to be paid like one and deservedly so.

Specifically, Williams wants to get a new contract done before the Jets return for their offseason program in April. If not, Williams says he will skip the Jets’ voluntary workout program. As far as whether he would skip the mandatory workouts, Williams said, “We’ll just have to see.”

Williams said he “did everything right on and off the field” in showing he deserves a new contract and to be one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the league. He finished with a career-high 11 sacks this season, one of only 19 players to reach double digits in sacks and one of only five defensive tackles to do so — Chris Jones (15.5), Daron Payne (11.5), Javon Hargrave (11) and Cameron Heyward (10.5) were the others.

Currently, three defensive tackles average at least $20 million per year on their current contracts, per Spotrac: Aaron Donald ($31.67 million), DeForest Buckner ($21 million) and Chris Jones ($20 million).

Williams wouldn’t say if he had a number in mind for his next contract. He just smiled and said, “I’ll let my agent handle that.” Williams has one year left on his rookie contract and his fifth-year option has to be decided on by May.

It’s fair to think that number will be at least $21 million to equal or surpass Buckner, especially with the salary cap beginning to steadily rise with the new TV contracts and YouTube taking over Sunday Ticket next season.

It’s also fair to wonder if Williams could get more than $40 million guaranteed at signing. Only four defensive linemen signed contracts that guaranteed them at least $40 million at signing: Donald ($46.5 million), Von Miller and Leonard Williams each with $45 million and Myles Garrett at about $43.5 million.

Williams can surpass the $39.378 million Buckner got at signing. So needless to say, the Jets will need to pony up but Williams has absolutely deserved it. The question is a matter of when not if.

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire