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Should the Lions trade for Quinnen Williams?

If the New York Jets can’t reach an agreement with superstar defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, should the Detroit Lions be interested?

NFL: London Games-New York Jets Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing that fires up the rumor mill quite like a player scrubbing their social media bio of the team they currently play for during contract negotiations—and that’s what we have right now with Quinnen Williams, the New York Jets star defensive tackle.

After four seasons in the NFL, and a breakout campaign in 2022 that saw him notch 12.0 sacks, 28 QB hits, and 13 tackles for loss on his way to First-Team All-Pro honors, Williams is looking for a new contract, reportedly one that would make him the league’s second-highest paid defensive tackle behind only Aaron Donald. However, the Jets and Williams aren’t close to an extension according to ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini, and Williams removing the Jets from his bio on social media has seemingly increased that gap.

So today’s Question of the Day is one that puts your patience to the test...

Should the Lions trade for Quinnen Williams?

Of course the Detroit Lions should be interested in Williams, but there’s two points of cost that need to be considered.

First, what would it cost the Lions in terms of draft capital to acquire one of the league’s premier interior defenders? Could it be something similar to the 2018 trade of Khalil Mack from the then Oakland Raiders to the Chicago Bears? Mack was in search of a deal that would make him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, so instead of paying him, the Raiders received a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 third-round pick, and a 2019 sixth-round pick in exchange for Mack, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2020 seventh-round pick.

At the very least, the framework of a trade would start with two first round picks, and regardless of how the rest of the deal would flesh itself out, are you comfortable enough with the foundation of the Lions roster to mortgage those ever-valuable first-round picks?

The other component to acquiring Williams is the massive contract you’d be rewarding him with once you make the trade. Reports suggest he’s looking for at least $23.5M APY, and while that seems like a steep price to pay for a defensive tackle, Williams’ elite play puts him in the conversation with other interior defenders like Chris Jones, Dexter Lawrence, and Aaron Donald. Last year, Williams’ 90.1 defense grade from Pro Football Focus ranked him fourth behind those three aforementioned names, and at just 25 years old, some of his best play is still ahead of him on the next contract he signs.

Let’s not forget that a large contingent of Lions fans just spent the past few months talking themselves into Jalen Carter being the player Detroit absolutely needed to take their defense to the next level. Williams has proven to be a gamewrecker at the NFL level and would be an easier projection for production and fit in Detroit than Carter, but that does, of course, come at a premium of draft capital and a rich contract extension.

Are the Lions in a position to push their chips to the center of the table? At this point in their rebuild, can Detroit afford to fundamentally change their approach to team building by making a win-now move like this? Let us know down below.


Should the Lions trade for Quinnen Williams?

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