He may be available, so should the Detroit Lions make an all-in trade for Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams?
Because it’s what you do in this day and age, Quinnen Williams conveyed his unhappiness with not having a new contract yet by scrubbing his Twitter profile of any mention of the New York Jets.
Williams is entering the final year of his contract, slated to make just under $10 million on a fifth-year option. He would like some long-term security, obviously, and to get paid among the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
The deals recently given to Jeffrey Simmons (four years, $94 million) and Dexter Lawrence (four years, $90 million), the latter a draft classmate of Williams, has driven the asking price up.
Williams is coming off the best season of his career. He was a First Team All-Pro and a first-time Pro Bowler in 2022, as he had a career-high 12 sacks and 28 quarterback hits. There didn’t seem to be a lot of traction on a new deal with the Jets, and as expected Williams is not present at the voluntary portion of offseason work.
So naturally the speculation has come regarding the Jets trading Williams, and who might be interested in making a deal for him.
NFL trade rumors: Should the Detroit Lions make an all-in move for Quinnen Williams?
After the dust has settled on free agency and the draft, defensive tackle stands an upgrade area for the Detroit Lions. The options are certainly not abundant right now, so it’s likely going to be making it work with what they have.
John Maakaron of SI.com is fully behind the idea of the Lions at least making a call to the Jets about Williams, dating back to earlier this month. Mike Valenti of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit is all-in on the idea of making the trade.
"If the Jets can’t get this guy signed and you offer the Jets a 1 and a 3 and you get Williams signed to a four-year, $110 million contract, I’m ready,” said Valenti. “I’m ready to go in and do this because this is about one thing. It’s not about winning a division or hosting a playoff game. It’s not about winning playoff games or getting to the NFC title game or getting to the Super Bowl and going home with your garden hose in your hand. It’s about winning the Lombardi Trophy. It is about winning it all.”"
Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports put the Lions third on his list of four possible trade destinations for Williams.
"One area where they do seem to be lacking a bit, however, is at defensive tackle. Inserting Williams into a defensive line that already has Aidan Hutchinson would strike fear into any opposing quarterback and could very well put Dan Campbell’s team over the top in the NFC North. Also, Lions GM Brad Homes came from a Rams front office that drafted Aaron Donald, so he is well aware of what kind of an impact a star defensive tackle can bring to a team."
Trading for Williams comes down to two things.
Are the Jets willing to trade him? That is, at best, unclear and if there’s one way to lean it’s no. It doesn’t seem like they’re ready to throw up their hands and give up on getting a long-term deal done, based on what general manager Joe Douglas has said, and they shouldn’t be to that point yet anyway.
Second is the cost. Valenti mentioned a first and third-round pick being what he’d give up, which is not that bad for someone of Williams’ caliber. It might take more than that though. And on the back end a new deal for him in the $23-$25 million range per year (or more) has to follow, or giving up a lot of draft capital is not defendable.
Trading for Williams would be seen as an all-in, put them over the top kind of move for the Lions. But they are more than one player away from winning a Super Bowl, and that kind of move would be a huge shift from their plan up to this point.
So while it’s impossible to say something like this absolutely won’t happen, Williams-to-Detroit looks sure to become an unrealized “dream” scenario.