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Jets nose tackle Quinnen Williams keeps his cool amid trade talk

Quinnen Williams of the Jets commits a penalty

Quinnen Williams of the Jets commits a penalty against Josh Allen of the Bills during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Quinnen Williams said he paid no attention to the rumors that the Jets were looking to trade him, and that team officials didn’t have to tell him those reports weren’t true.

It wouldn’t change how Williams approached this week’s game against Kansas City.

"It was cool," Williams said. "I really didn’t see it in the media or look at in the media. When they told me I was just like, it doesn’t change how I feel about the team or I feel about the organization. I just want to work hard and do what I can do on Sundays.

"They didn’t really have to talk to me if they didn’t want to. It wasn’t mandatory to talk to me or come see. I was going to play hard every Sunday like I always do."

There were multiple reports about the Jets perhaps moving their second-year nose tackle before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline. General manager Joe Douglas has received calls, but he doesn’t intend to trade the 22-year-old Williams, a league source said.

After one report surfaced earlier in the week, Douglas spoke to Williams and his agent. Adam Gase also spoke to Williams, assuring him that he's not going anywhere.

"If the first time I’m hearing it is when somebody says it’s reported, it’s not true," Gase said. "When you go to tell a guy you just have to be honest with him. You have to have the trust of your players. When you speak to them, they know you’re telling the truth.

"Everybody says the right thing, ‘It’s a business.’ But that’s sometimes hard for guys to hear especially when you’re young. My conversation with Quinnen was great. I didn’t think he took offense to anything. I think he was happy the way it was communicated to him that none of that was true and then his agent as well."

The Jets drafted Williams with the third overall pick last year. Douglas wasn’t here at the time, but he’s still evaluating all of the players on this 0-7 team. Williams isn’t necessarily untouchable but it’s going to take a deal Douglas can’t refuse to move the talented young player.

Williams has shown continual development after an unimpressive rookie season that was slowed somewhat by an ankle injury. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams praised "the guts and strength" that Quinnen Williams had to play through "a really significant injury."

Now Williams is the center of the Jets’ defense and already has either matched or surpassed many statistics that he had in 13 games last season. He leads the Jets with three sacks, has 28 tackles, five for loss, and four quarterback hits.

"He’s growing every single game," Gregg Williams said. "He’s at the very top of our league for an interior guy in the run and pressures and hits and tackles for losses. He’s only going to continue to get better. I believe that. If he stays healthy, he’s going to be really, really, really good and I’m glad he’s here. I really am."

Quinnen Williams hasn’t been as disruptive as he said he would be this season, and he has committed some real costly roughing-the-passer penalties.

The Jets can’t afford to make any mistakes or be undisciplined this week against Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl champs. No one is giving the Jets a chance. But like the trade rumors, Williams is tuning it out.

"We really don’t worry about what outside people got to say," Williams said. "We really don’t care what they got to say honestly because they’re not on the field and they don’t play with us. They don’t compete with us. They don’t do the things and they can’t do the things that we do."

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