Quinnen Williams doesn’t know where the “highest-paid decoy” label came from, but it certainly wasn’t him.
The star defensive lineman denied Troy Aikman’s reporting from the Jets-Chargers “Monday Night Football” broadcast that attributed the line to Williams, calling it “weird,” “upsetting” and “misleading” because he never had a conversation with the ESPN analyst.
It’s possible that Aikman misattributed his report.
“I never talked to Troy Aikman,” Williams said. “I never said that to Troy Aikman. Like I don’t know where he got that from.”
The segment centered around the Jets’ pass rush and analyzed how Williams, who signed a four-year, $96 million contract in July, still impacted the defense — with his 12.0 sacks from 2022 and reputation — despite recording just half a sack through nine games in 2023.
Aikman also claimed Williams went to head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich to design more one-on-one matchups.
To Saleh, sacks are a “very overrated stat” that help players land massive deals but don’t dictate how effective defenders rush the quarterback.
Williams said he doesn’t care about sack numbers or how teams protect against him.
Quincy Williams, his teammate and brother, told The Post that Quinnen won’t be “whining about getting double-teamed” and instead focus on beating them.
“Unfortunately, we live in a society where sack production is the measure of how good a player is and it’s not even close,” Saleh said. “[Williams is] wrecking games.”
After the Jets signed Perrion Winfrey to their practice squad and gave him another NFL chance, Saleh said the 23-year-old defensive lineman isn’t a “bad person” despite multiple off-field issues within the past year.
“He’s a tremendous talent, but he’s also somebody who loves the game of football,” Saleh said. “And I think he realized that he can lose ball, he can lose what he loves, if he doesn’t take care of the things that he needs to take care of off the field. “And he’s got a love for football that I think he realizes that he needs to protect a little bit better.”
Winfrey was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge in April — later dropped after he reportedly completed a pretrial diversion program — following an incident with his girlfriend where he caused “bodily injury.”
He was also listed as a suspect in a separate aggravated robbery incident and accused of striking a woman outside of a hotel and flashing a handgun, while also allegedly taking the phones of the woman and her friend.
Winfrey didn’t face charges.
“Sometimes, players make dumb mistakes,” Saleh said. “Sometimes, they’re not good at life to start their football career, but it’s not because he’s a bad person. Just making silly, immature decisions.”
The Jets’ coaching staff worked with Winfrey at the 2022 Senior Bowl.
They considered drafting him, Saleh said, but ended up selecting tight end Jeremy Ruckert with their third-round pick.
OL Billy Turner (finger) and LB Chazz Surratt (ankle) didn’t participate in the Jets’ walk-through Wednesday.
LT Mekhi Becton (knee), WR Allen Lazard (knee), TE Jeremy Ruckert (shoulder) and LB Quincy Williams (knee) were estimated to have been limited participants in a normal practice.
Duane Brown (hip) would’ve been a full participant.