The NY Jets are hoping for a big year from star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in 2022. And with the former top-three pick's looming contract situation, there should be extra motivation for Williams to thrive this season.
However, at least according to the man himself, Williams isn't focused on his soon-to-come payday.
Williams spoke to the media on Tuesday following the second day of Jets OTAs and was expectedly asked about his pending contract status. The 24-year-old was coy when discussing his long-term future, instead opting to focus on the present.
"I just believe, man, contracts are going to handle itself. Money’s going to handle itself. I play this game for the love of the game first and foremost, so money’s not a big thing on my heart and my mind right now. I just want to be the best football player on the field that I can be, man, just one of the best football players and do the things I can do to help this team win in general, so when it comes down to contracts, that’s going to handle itself on its own, man. That’s in God’s hands."- Quinnen Williams
Quinnen Williams will look to prove his worth to the NY Jets in 2022
Williams is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract in 2022 and is likely primed for a hefty extension in the near future. The Jets did pick up his fifth-year option, but it's rare to see established standouts like Williams enter that fifth year without a new contract.
There's no doubt that Williams is one of the best players on the Jets' roster, but it's also fair to say that he hasn't quite lived up to his pre-draft expectations to this point.
Williams has been very good, but has he been great? That much is certainly up for debate.
The former Alabama star has recorded 13.0 sacks over the last two seasons and ranks top-10 in pressures among all defensive tackles since 2020. Again, he's been really, really good.
The Jets are hoping to see Williams take his game to the next level in 2022, however. With a talented crop of pass-rushers around him, many believe that Williams will take that next step this season.
That remains his focus right now. While other fourth-year players around the NFL have been pounding the table for new contracts, Williams has been quiet this offseason. Unusually quiet, in fact.
There hasn't been any indication that the Jets and Williams are working on an extension at the time of writing. Perhaps it's in the best interest of both sides to wait and see what happens this year.
Quinnen Williams knows that he can make a lot of money with an impressive performance in 2022. But despite this, his focus remains on being the best player he can be.
If he accomplishes that, his contract will absolutely "handle itself."