Avery Williamson deserves a gold star and a hearty pat on the back for stripping away the B.S. and telling it like it is.
Why exactly did the free-agent inside linebacker pick the Jets over the four other teams pursuing him?
“They had the better deal,” Williamson said. “At the end of the day, it’s definitely about playing a sport that you love, but you’ve got to make sure that you can benefit financially from it. … The Jets had the better deal.”
Money talks, right?
Williamson, who spent his first four seasons with the Titans, earned the right to join the highest bidder in free agency. Gang Green’s three-year, $22.5 million pact that included a fully guaranteed $16 million was too good for him to pass up.
The Jets believe that they upgraded from Demario Davis, who is three years older than Williamson. Although Davis had a career-high 135 tackles last season, he was never a priority for the Jets, who wanted to get younger, and frankly, better at that position.
“You can’t really compare yourself to another guy … in the sense of trying to fill somebody’s shoes,” Williamson said about Davis, who signed with the Saints. “He has his style of play and I have my style of play. We’re both solid players, but we have our own traits and our own things that we like to do on the field. Really, I just don’t want to pressure myself in trying to be like him. I feel like he would say the same thing if he was replacing me. I’ve just got to go in there and play my style. I feel like that’s going to get the job done.”
Williamson is essentially a two-down inside linebacker with solid skills to stop the run. He believes that he made important strides in pass coverage last season in Tennessee, but the Jets will likely use other players in those situations.
Williamson, who believes he’ll be able to “play free” and have ample opportunities to shoot gaps in Todd Bowles’ scheme, is slowly starting to familiarize himself with a team that he admittedly knew little about last season.
“Everything I’ve been hearing is really good,” Williamson said. “A lot of positive stuff. … The team is definitely headed in the right direction. I’m going to be joining a solid defense … a hungry defense.”
He had 16 million reasons to join that defense.
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