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Jet Up – What happened to Leonard Williams?

The New York Jets were absolutely embarrassed against the New England Patriots on Sunday, losing a 30-14 contest that wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicates. One score from the Jets was at the end of the third quarter on a muffed punt, and the other was a pick six by Jamal Adams on backup QB Jarrett Stidham.

The Jets’ defense has looked almost as bad as its offense, but in some ways you can’t even blame the offense due to all of the injuries on that side of the ball. Sam Darnold is still out with mono, Luke Falk has been thrust into a starting role after being a third string quarterback the beginning of the season and the offensive line has had its bumps and bruises while also not holding up their end of the bargain.

However, the most disappointing part of this Jets’ season has been how little pressure they’ve gotten on opposing quarterbacks. The defensive front used to be the strength of the Jets’ defense. Guys like Mark Gastineau and John Abraham used to sack quarterbacks like their lives depended on it.

Unfortunately one of the Jets’ top draft picks, Leonard Williams, doesn’t seem to have the same mentality. The defensive end from USC, who was picked sixth in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jets, has produced pretty much nothing since being drafted.

He was highly touted as a freak athlete and a force both in the run game and chasing the quarterback, but his only real contributions to the team were during the 2016-17 season, where he made his only Pro Bowl.

So far Williams has three tackles and no sacks, and he’s completely disappeared at times throughout the years. At what point is it time for the Jets to cut bait and trade the formerly touted pick? Williams is too talented to be this bad and at this point it seems like it’s more of an effort issue than it is a talent issue.

The Jets are getting no favors from the rest of their defensive front, but Williams is their “star” and should be producing like one. Coming into the season expectations were heightened, and so far Williams has fallen well short of those. It may be time for the Jets to say goodbye.

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Chris Passarelli
Football Editor - Hockey Editor - New York Islanders Lead Writer - New York Lizards Lead Writer - UConn Football Lead Writer
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