ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that several teams are set to inquire about the New York Jets’ defensive line and 2015 first-round pick.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams has attracted interest from multiple teams in the leadup to the NFL’s Oct. 29 trade deadline. Schefter further notes that the Jets aren’t interested in trading Williams yet.
Williams, 25, joined the Jets as the sixth-overall pick of the 2015 draft. The USC alum was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team after his debut season and followed it up by setting career marks in his sophomore campaign.
Williams tallied 68 tackles, seven sacks and forced two fumbles. He has struggled to reach those heights since, earning 89 tackles and seven sacks over the past two full seasons. 2019 has seen him earn 11 tackles over the first four games.
Despite the struggles, Jets coaches have stuck by Williams during these trying times.
“He is playing unbelievable,” defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (no relation) said on Friday, per transcripts provided by the Jets. “One of the things that we pass out is a hard hat award a lot of times. Basically what that is, is that the guys that are doing the dirty work, the guys that are doing all the knockback, the guys that are preventing blocks to get up to the second level, the guys that are knocking the protection back so the quarterback can’t step up. He’s graded out very well and how we grade film and I love coaching him and he plays extremely solid.”
Leonard Williams is in the final year of his original contract, a four-year, $18.6 million deal inked after his drafting. The Jets picked up a fifth-year option on him this offseason.
Schefter theorizes in his report that New York could potentially net a third-round pick in a potential Williams deal, basing the hypothesis over similar deals for fellow first-round picks Jadeveon Clowney and Dante Fowler Jr.
The latter was dealt from Jacksonville to the Los Angeles Rams at last year’s deadline for third and fifth-round selections. Clowney was traded from Houston to Seattle late last summer for a third-round pick and journeymen defenders Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin.
The Jets (0-4) will look to win their first game on the season on Sunday afternoon at home against the Dallas Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).