Quinnen Williams is one of the most important players on the NY Jets' roster. That much was made abundantly clear on Thursday when the Jets signed him to a franchise-record four-year, $96 million contract with $66 million in guarantees.
The contract makes Williams the richest player in Jets history — a well-deserved honor for a player who might legitimately be one of the most valuable defensive players in football. That's not hyperbole, either.
ESPN's Bill Barnwell shared a mind-blowing stat on Thursday that puts into perspective just how important Williams is to the Jets' success on defense. It's a stat that not only shows how dominant Williams is but also exhibits how he makes his teammates around him better.
Over the last two seasons, the Jets rank first in the NFL with an 8.1 percent sack rate when Williams is on the field. When he's off the field, the Jets plummet to an abysmal 3.4 percent sack rate, which ranks 31st in the NFL.
This means the Jets have the best pass rush in the league when Williams is playing and essentially the worst pass rush when he's not on the field. A player's value doesn't get much clearer than that.
Quinnen Williams deserves every penny that the NY Jets paid him
With all the talk surrounding position value in the modern NFL, elite players at "non-premium positions" tend to get overlooked. There are some exceptions to that rule, however, and Williams is chief among them.
Williams is coming off a dominant 2022 season that saw him finish with a team-leading 12 sacks en route to being named first-team All-Pro. His efficiency numbers are even more staggering.
Williams led all interior defensive linemen with a 3.1% sack rate in 2022. He ranked third among qualifiers with a 12.4% pressure rate and second behind Haason Reddick with a whopping eight sacks on third down.
Not only was Williams productive and efficient, but he had a knack for showing up in big moments. Since 2020, the only defensive tackles with more sacks than Williams are Aaron Donald and Chris Jones.
By every metric, Williams is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and that stat from Barnwell shows just how important he is to what the Jets do on defense. Simply put, this Jets' defense would not be able to succeed at the level they have without Williams.
It's hard to put a price tag on a player like Quinnen Williams. The Jets did this past week, and he deserves every penny of that new contract.