JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Leonard Williams and Robby Anderson have consistently expressed their desire to remain with the Jets for the rest of this season and beyond. But the defensive tackle (a former first-round draft pick) and the receiver might not be with the team much longer.
With recent speculation suggesting one or both players might be moving on, they’ll watch Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline with plenty of interest.
Was Sunday’s 29-15 loss to the Jaguars their final time in a Jets uniform?
“I thought about it,” said Williams, the sixth overall pick in 2015. “Obviously, it’s something that’s being talked about. But at the same time, I can’t let it hinder my play on the field, and I can’t let it affect anything I can’t control myself. It’s something that’s out of my control.”
Williams has been a disappointment through much of his Jets career, failing to live up to his potential as a dominant pass rusher. He has only 17 career sacks, none this year.
He came close to sacking Tom Brady in last Monday night’s 33-0 loss to the Patriots, but Brady got rid of the ball just before being hit by Williams. In the loss to the Jaguars, Williams had a sack that was negated by a penalty.
Anderson, who made the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2016, has 16 career touchdowns and has been the team’s best deep threat during his three-plus seasons.
“My goal has always been to be a Jet and fulfill my potential as a Jet, try and get to the Super Bowl,” he said. “I’m never going to stop with my passion, with my goals.”
Asked if it was hurtful to hear his name in trade discussions, he replied, “No, it’s a business. It’s what comes with it.”
Anderson had only four catches for 43 yards in the loss to the Jaguars. Two of Sam Darnold’s interceptions occurred as the quarterback tried to complete passes to Anderson.
“God forbid that was my last game as a Jet,” Anderson told reporters. “My all has been to get us to the top, to the Super Bowl.”
Williams pointed to the trend of more trades in recent years as a potential harbinger of his own exodus.
“It happens a lot more in this league,” said the former USC star. “You see trades occur way more often. I just try to take my emotions out of it and let what happens happen. ”