Why are the Jets playing hardball with Quinnen Williams over bonus money?

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

As of this writing, there are four 2019 draft picks who haven’t signed their rookie contracts.

The deals are slotted and predetermined by the collective-bargaining agreement; for first-round picks, there is sometimes haggling with a team over offset language or, as is the case for at least one player this year, disbursement of bonus money.

Jets approaching Quinnen Williams differently than other first-rounders

The New York Jets are reportedly haggling with first-round pick Quinnen Williams over disbursement of his bonus money. (AP)

Though New York Jets rookies reported for training camp last Friday, the team’s top pick, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, wasn’t there.

Williams, selected at No. 3, has not signed and via multiple reports, the Jets are haggling over the disbursement of Williams’ bonus money.

ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini reported on Tuesday that Williams would like the entirety of his $21.7 million bonus paid in full in the first year, but New York would like to defer part of it to Year 2.

Cimini’s understanding is that of other top picks (No. 2 Nick Bosa has not yet signed his contract with the San Francisco 49ers), Williams’ deferment would be the largest in terms of percentage.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Jets have had a first-round pick agree to defer some of his bonus money, but again, the percentage of money the team is asking Williams to agree to put off receiving is higher than those players.

Sam Darnold got all of his money

One major point working against the Jets: last year, when they also had the No. 3 pick, that player, quarterback Sam Darnold, got the entirety of his $20.1 million bonus within 15 days of signing his deal.

With precedent in place, why wouldn’t Williams get the same?

Williams will get his money – and New York will have to pay it. But with a new general manager and coach in place, is this how they want to start a new era – haggling with the team’s top pick?

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