Quincy Williams
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

With a potentially monstrous Aaron Rodgers trade looming, Jets general manager Joe Douglas has made one of his first big moves of the offseason, re-signing linebacker Quincy Williams to a three-year, $18 million contract.

Williams was the Jets’ top unrestricted free agent. Retaining him is highly beneficial for a variety of reasons.

Family ties. Williams’ younger brother, Quinnen, is the Jets’ budding superstar defensive tackle. Who is coming off a career year. And is going to be due a potentially market-resetting contract very soon. If this makes him happy — and why wouldn’t it? — that is worth the money alone.

Production. Williams brings great value to the defensive side of the ball. He went from being a late-summer waiver pickup to the Jets’ second-leading tackler each of the last two years (behind only star linebacker C.J. Mosley). He was second on the team in tackles in 2022 (with 106) despite having missed two games due to injury.

Williams also only has an 8.8% missed tackle rate while with the Jets (237 combined attempts, 21 missed tackles). It’s no secret he’s solid against the run, and has been of tremendous value to the Jets in terms of that. He could be better in pass coverage though (Williams allowed quarterbacks to complete 86.3% of throws when targeted last year). The hope is that another year in the system will help refine those skills.

The contract. This is an incredible value signing for Douglas. The price is pretty low for a player who’s been your second-leading tackler each of the last two years.

Williams’ average value of $6 million per year makes him only the 17th-highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL (per Over the Cap), right behind the Bucs’ Devin White, who’s still on his rookie contract.

For reference, Mosley is making $17 million per year as the league’s fourth-highest-paid inside linebacker. And Mosley only averaged around three more tackles per game than Williams over the past two seasons. For a clearcut starter and producer at the inside linebacker position, a $6 million average value is a steal for the Jets. This move will certainly bolster a unit looking to remain one of the league’s best in 2023.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.