Jets trade Avery Williamson to Steelers as fire sale continues

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The Jets moved another veteran Sunday night.

The team agreed to trade linebacker Avery Williamson to the Steelers, a source confirmed. The Jets acquired Pittsburgh’s 2022 fifth-round pick in exchange for Williamson and the Jets’ 2022 seventh-round pick.

Williamson joins Steve McLendon and Jordan Willis as veterans Jets general manager Joe Douglas has traded for future picks in recent weeks. At 0-8, the Jets are going nowhere and Douglas is willing to move anyone he does not view as part of the future. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The 28-year-old Williamson led the Jets in tackles in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs with nine. He had an interception and three passes defensed in six games this season. Williamson signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal with the Jets in 2018. They renegotiated his 2020 salary before the season to $3.5 million this year.

Williamson had 120 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in his first season with the Jets in 2018. Then, he tore the ACL in his right knee in a preseason game and missed the entire 2019 season.

He returned this year in training camp but defensive coordinator Gregg Williams seemed reluctant to play him, initially naming Blake Cashman as the starter over Williamson. After Cashman was injured and Williamson recovered from a hamstring injury, Williamson regained his starting spot in Week 3 and had stayed there.

Now, Williamson goes from the 0-8 Jets to the 7-0 Steelers. The Jets will turn to Cashman, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, and Patrick Onwuasor, who is coming back from a knee injury suffered in training camp, to fill Williamson’s role on the defense.

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