Thursday the 5th of March at 9:15 pm, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets was arrested at LaGuardia airport. He attempted to board a flight with a Glock 19 pistol stowed in his checked luggage.
He is now charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. The gun in question was not loaded at the time, but Williams also carried ammunition with the weapon. Williams doesn’t hold the appropriate permits for its possession in New York, where gun laws are much stricter.
In his defense, he does hold a permit for the weapon in Alabama, where he studied and played for the university team. His lawyer has reported that the case has now been passed to the Queens district attorney's office for review. He also stated that Williams “ respects and follows the law.”
The Jets themselves are refusing to comment due to legal restrictions, but they are fully aware of the situation.
After showcasing his talent as a rising star in his college years, Williams went on to record 28 tackles in his Jets rookie season.
Williams became a beloved member of the Jets from the get-go and even became a viral sensation for his love of Oreos. He secured the 4th fastest time by a 300lbs defensive lineman in the past 16 years during the NFL Scouting Combine just after eating a handful of his favorite treat.
The 22-year-old was drafted 3rd last year, signing a $32.5 million contract plus a signing bonus, and fifth-year option with the Jets.
During his career, he’s won several awards including, CFP National Champion back in 2017 and the Outland Trophy in 2018, to name but a few.
He’s one of two NFL star brothers. Quincy Williams is his older brother, who currently plays linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars. When he was drafted in 2019, pundits declared that he’s leading the next generation of NFL tackling stars.
Looking to the Future
If the charges against Williams are passed, carrying an unlicensed weapon could see him facing a minimum prison sentence of 31/2 years. He has now been released from police custody but will attend court on the 25th of this month for his arraignment.
Williams' contract runs through to the end of the 2022 season, and the Jets still owe him around $26 million in contracted salary. He could face further discipline from the NFL in the form of a suspension if he’s released without jail time, much like the Da’Quan Bowers case in 2013.
Not all of the details about his situation are clear at this moment because there’s a pending legal situation. If Williams self-reported the firearm, he stands in better stead for a fine rather than a custodial sentence. For now, it’s clear that this was a genuine mistake from the player and not an intentional act of malice.