The Saints on Tuesday signed defensive end Cameron Jordan to a three-year contract extension. He is now under contract through 2023. The value of the extension is $52.5 million, with $42 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.
So what could this mean for Jets defensive end Leonard Williams, who is scheduled to be a free agent next offseason for the first time?
Well, Jordan and Williams aren’t in entirely comparable situations, since Jordan turns 30 next month and already got his second contract, back in 2015. Williams turn 25 later this month and is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie deal.
So there isn’t a major correlation here, especially because Jordan has been a more productive player, in terms of sacks, than Williams. Jordan has 71.5 career sacks, including 12 and 13 (career high) the past two seasons. He is still thriving at this point in his career. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2017.
Williams still needs to prove — and maybe the presence of rookie defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will help — that he can cash in more sack opportunities. In his four-year career, Williams has 17 sacks and 85 quarterback hits. His yearly sack totals, starting with his rookie season — three, seven, two, and five. Not exactly dominant.
Plus, the Jets now have a new general manager (Joe Douglas) who didn’t draft Williams. So that further complicates things for Williams.
If Douglas doesn’t want to sign him to a long-term contract — and this is a big prove-it season for Williams — he can apply the franchise tag to him and trade him, like two teams did with pass rushers this offseason, as Seattle traded Frank Clark and Kansas City traded Dee Ford.
Darryl Slater may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DarrylSlater. Find NJ.com Jets on Facebook.