The Jets would like to get Quinnen Williams signed and into training camp, but fans shouldn’t be concerned if he misses a few days of action.
Quinnen Williams has the potential to be a disruptive force in the middle of the Jets’ defensive line. At the moment, the only disruption the young defensive tackle is causing is to his organization’s training camp.
That’s because Williams is currently the highest draft pick in this year’s class not to sign his rookie contract. Reportedly, the Jets originally planned for him to fly into town on Thursday so he could report to camp in time. Instead, Williams missed the flight which likely means he won’t be signed in time to join his teammates when camp begins.
Jets fans can expect this story to dominate the news cycle around the team until Williams ultimately signs his deal and reports to camp. The reality is that the former Alabama star’s contract status is destined to be one of the most overblown stories of training camp. The simple truth is that it’s not all that important to get Williams into the system on time.
Fans need only remember back to Sam Darnold’s issues with the Jets last season to understand how easy it is for a rookie to catch up after missing a few days of camp. Darnold also missed a few practices while his contract was being sorted out. Clearly that didn’t stop him from starting 13 games at the most complex position in the NFL during his rookie campaign.
The mental adjustments placed on an interior defensive lineman are much less demanding than what a quarterback faces. Williams will need some time to adjust to life as a pro, but the mental stress put on a defensive tackle are relatively simple. Williams will need to adjust to the physicality and speed of the NFL, but he’s not going to require a full preseason to start for the Jets on Week One.
The bigger issue Jets fans need to be concerned with is why their front office seems to struggle to get their first round picks into camp. The process of getting high picks signed to their rookie deals is pretty straightforward for the rest of the league. Issues arise regarding guaranteed money and cash flow, but the salaries for each player are largely set by the deals signed by players in their same draft range.
For Williams, missing a few days of training camp won’t prevent him from enjoying a productive rookie season. As long as his hold out doesn’t drag on into the preseason, it should be a non issue once the regular season begins.