The team made the announcement Friday evening, shortly after wrapping up the first day of a three-day rookie camp.
Based on the rookie slotting system, Williams will receive $18.63 million over the four years, fully guaranteed. The contract includes an $11.8 million signing bonus and a fifth-year team option.
With more than $12 million in first-year compensation, counting the bonus and salary, Williams will be the second-highest-paid player on the team in 2015. Only cornerback Darrelle Revis ($16 million) is slated to make more than the highly regarded rookie.
Williams becomes the third-highest drafted player to sign, behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (first overall) and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (fourth). This means the Jets' entire six-man draft class is under contract. Second-round wide receiver Devin Smith signed earlier Friday.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive end, considered by many teams as the top player in the draft, unexpectedly slipped to the Jets. Despite a strong defensive line, they opted to take Williams instead of dealing the pick.
“No different than what I saw on tape,” said coach Todd Bowles, describing his first-day impressions of Williams. “He’s explosive, he’s powerful and he’s smart.”
With Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson at defensive end, Williams isn’t expected to start as a rookie, but he figures to play a prominent role. In 39 games at USC, he recorded 21 sacks in a variety of schemes.
General manager Mike Maccagnan said teams have expressed interest in trading for Wilkerson, but he said they have no plans to deal him. Wilkerson, who has only one year left on his contract, is skipping voluntary workouts.