2. Leonard Williams trade
I came out scorched earth the day this trade was made, and although i’m very glad to see the many that told me I was crazy for hating this move so much at the time have come around, the salient point is still being missed on why this is such a historically bad move.
As I said at the time, this trade highlighted Dave Gettleman’s biggest flaws as general manager of the New York Giants. The move showed a stunning lack of awareness in adhering to a concrete rebuilding plan, and having a general sense of timing on when to make a move like this.
I will say this loudly until it is accepted by everyone; Under NO circumstances (outside of a QB, who are almost never on the market anyway), should a 2-6, rebuilding football team ever give up assets in a lost season for a player that is an impending free agent.
As I also said at the time, this move reeked of desperation, as it was Gettleman still being so out of touch with what was going on that he truly had to believe that this team had it in them to make a stretch run. There is no other explanation to how this trade could be thought of as one that had to be done, and it really should be the final nail in the coffin.
It wouldn’t matter if Leonard Williams all of a sudden blossomed into the stud player he’s always supposed to have been. In fact, that might have even made things worse. Dave Gettleman already boxed himself and the team into such a corner by pulling the trigger on this deal, that Williams putting up big numbers only forces him to give him an even bigger deal. The reason this trade can never be made is about process and rebuilding, although sure, the fact that Williams has still not picked up a sack in 2019 makes it look even worse.
There are few, -if any – players in the NFL that would be worth a top 70 draft pick for simply the right to negotiate with for a few months before they became a free agent – Leonard Williams is far from one of them. If a smart GM had interest in Williams, they would have simply waited until the off-season and approached him about a deal while weighing whether the numbers made sense compared to the rest of the field.
Instead, Gettleman gives up a ton of draft capital (the team will also send the Jets a fourth or fifth-round pick), which gives Williams all of the leverage in the world. Williams and his agent know that DG has to get a deal done here to save face, or else he’ll go down as the guy that gave up a three and a five for a player to finish out the second half of a 2-4 win season.
Even after being so frustrated and upset with Gettleman for not pulling the trigger on the rebuild for a year and a half, and pushing us so far in the other direction with his one foot in, one foot out strategy, I was still ready to give him a shot to finally do the right thing heading into the trade deadline and acquire assets.
I was a fool to do so, as the embattled executive somehow unloaded assets instead of bringing them in, at 2-6 (now 2-10) in 2019, and 5-11 in 2018. To make this even worse, I’m not sure if I would rather the Giants sign Williams, or not. I’m leaning towards a hard no, because he has shown himself to be not much of a difference maker, we already have numerous other productive players at the position, and he’s going to ask for the moon and the stars.
I just don’t see how this situation could ever be one that even a middling executive would entertain, and it’s going to look even worse in a few months.
All-time bad move.