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Quinnen Williams has become one of the top young interior defensive linemen in the NFL. After a second-year breakout with the New York Jets, he’s now considered one of the franchise’s best trade assets — if they want to target a quarterback.
The problem? Williams doesn’t want to go anywhere. Surprising or not, he loves where he’s at.
During an appearance with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio on Thursday, the former No. 3 pick said he wants to be a life-long Jet. He’d be disappointed with a trade to any other team, including the Houston Texans.
“I’d be disappointed,” Williams said in the interview. “I really want to be a Jet for life. I like New York, and I want to play in New York.”
Outside of acquiring a Deshaun Watson level talent, there would be no reason for New York to trade the 23-year-old. After a 2.5-sack, 6-QB hit rookie season, Williams increased those numbers to seven sacks and 14 QB hits.
But it’s not just about his impact on the stat sheet either. The presence he’s beginning to command will take a ton of pressure off other defenders. The Alabama product also wants the opportunity to experience Robert Saleh’s defense.
He is willing to play hard for whichever team he’s on, however.
“I just handle what I can handle, just control what I can control,” Williams said. “Just go out and work hard as I can for any team that I’m on. Hopefully it’s the Jets so I can play with Coach Saleh, but any team I’m on, I just work my hardest so that when that comes around I can be the best player I can be.”
It’s the correct answer — and the correct approach.
If the Watson-Jets deal ever goes down, one can probably assume that Williams will be a part of it. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the business side of the NFL. Franchise quarterbacks trump emerging defenders every time.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.