After yet another quiet performance in Week 3, Leonard Williams’ future status with the New York Jets appears up in the air.
The New York Jets have fallen to 0-3 to start off their 2019 campaign after an embarrassing loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. The entire team seemed non-competitive throughout the entire matchup. It almost felt like everybody knows the season is basically over already, only three weeks in.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment so far this season has been Leonard Williams.
The former 2015 first-round pick has done nothing in his first three games. His presence on the field has not been felt at all, whether the play was a run or a pass.
Williams’ 2019 so far consists of 11 tackles. That’s it. That’s his only stat. No sacks, no tackles for loss, nothing. Just 11 tackles.
This is beyond disappointing for someone who was once considered to be the best player in his draft class.
When the Jets picked Williams with the sixth overall pick in 2015, the reasoning behind it was that he was the best player available. They didn’t actually need a defensive lineman at all, but they thought that Williams was such a clear cut talent who couldn’t be passed up at sixth overall. That doesn’t look like such a great move anymore.
For the past several seasons, Williams’ lack of efficiency at getting to the quarterback was always excused by the fact that he is double-teamed. However, great players can get around double teams.
That excuse is over now. It’s put up or shut up time for Big Cat, and he hasn’t quite put up so far. With his rookie deal expiring this offseason, he’s running out of time to prove he’s worth a long-term deal, or even a new contract at all.
Gregg Williams is not putting up with Williams’ subpar play, either. His snap count has dropped each week since the first week of the season, and Kyle Phillips’ snap count has raised to nearly 50% after being a healthy scratch for Week 1.
If the Jets continue to struggle leading up to the trade deadline, Williams could be in trouble. The Jets may want to get something out of him before moving on at the end of the season. Williams is reportedly worth around a second or third-round pick, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
Weeks 5-8 will be big for Leonard Williams. His spot on the team is on the line, and so is potentially a lot of money. The coaching staff clearly hasn’t been happy with Williams’ nonexistence up front this season, and he’s running out of time to turn his Jets career around.