Quinnen Williams contract is already looking like a steal for NY Jets

The defensive tackle market is exploding

Quinnen Williams
Quinnen Williams / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

When the NY Jets signed superstar defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to a four-year, $96 million extension in July of last year, the deal seemed like a fair one at the time for both sides.

Williams was coming off the best season of his career, one in which he finished with a career-high 12 sacks en route to being named first-team All-Pro. The Jets rewarded him handsomely for his efforts.

But in the span of a little over half a year, that contract is already looking like a steal for the Jets. It's not quite at the team-friendly level of his brother Quincy Williams' contract, but the Jets are likely very happy they signed him to an extension when they did.

With both Chris Jones and Justin Madubuike resetting the defensive tackle market this offseason, Williams already feels like he's underpaid in comparison to his peers.

Quinnen Williams' contract is excellent value for the NY Jets

Let's start with Madubuike. The former Texas A&M standout broke out in 2023, finishing with a career-high 13.0 sacks and a whopping 64 total pressures. He doubled his pressure total from the previous season.

Madubuike was rewarded with a massive four-year, $98 million extension this month. Not only does his total value exceed Williams', but he also received nearly $10 million more in guarantees.

Madubuike is an excellent young player, but even after his breakout season, he's still a tier below Williams. Even in Madubuike's best season in 2023, Williams still recorded more pressures and, for what it's worth, finished with a significantly higher Pro Football Focus grade.

Williams also offers much more as a run defender. While Madubuike grades out just average in run defense, Williams was PFF's highest-graded run defender among all interior defensive linemen in 2023.

Williams is a better player than Madubuike — that much really shouldn't be up for debate. Yet, because of the exploding defensive tackle market, the latter is paid more and has more guaranteed money.

That brings us to Chris Jones. Jones is likely the best defensive tackle in the NFL today. For as incredible as Williams is, there probably isn't an interior defensive lineman in the league who can touch Jones — as evidenced by his remarkable 152 total pressures over the last two seasons.

Jones deserves to be the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, but his most recent extension was earth-shattering for the defensive tackle market.

The Kansas City Chiefs gave Jones a five-year, $158.75 million extension this weekend. For context, no other defensive tackle contract in the NFL exceeds $100 million in total value. Jones is being paid a whopping $31.75 million annually, as compared to Williams' $24 million AAV.

If Williams were to hit the open market today, it's likely his contract would come close to what Jones received. That's why the Jets should feel incredibly fortunate that they have him under contract at the price they currently do.

The NFL salary cap continues to skyrocket, and big-money contracts are following suit. The Jets are lucky they were able to extend their star defensive tackle when they did.