NY Giants GM Dave Gettleman surely backed himself into a corner negotiating wise when he acquired Leonard Williams. Can he stick to a hard line on his value, and what exactly is that market value?
The upcoming Leonard Williams negotiations are going to tell us a lot about the ‘new’ Dave Gettleman. Is he able to admit a mistake and simply do what’s best for the NY Giants at the present moment, or will he be stuck on not getting further dragged by the media for surrendering crucial draft capital for next to nothing?
I’m not sure that anyone actually has the answer to that question at the moment, but team owner John Mara would be wise to stick his nose into this particular issue. Gettleman has received a ton of flack (after the fact, from most, as many somehow agreed with the crazy trade at the time of it) after Wiliams racked up a grand total of zero sacks during his time with Big Blue.
That flack will increase tenfold if he “lets” Williams walk in free agency, but he needs to take a pragmatic route in this situation (gulp). The embattled GM needs to have a maximum contract offer and not go above it, no matter how the negotiations go.
The absolute worst-case scenario – and one that could end up happening – is Gettleman offering a contract far higher than what Williams is worth before free agency starts to ensure that Williams is a Giant moving forward no matter what.
Anyone with a brain saw that at the time of the deal, Gettleman was ceding all negotiating power to Williams and his agent, as the team would look absolutely foolish for parting with draft picks in a 2-6 season only to see said player walk. It’s unknown at this time if the team and Williams have even undergone any type of talks, but the clock is ticking as free agency begins in about six weeks.
Spotrac lists Williams’ market value at a 5/$42M deal ($8.2M APY), and that seems fair. That type of deal would pay the former top pick as the #28 highest defensive end in the league, and far below the $17M franchise tag number that some have pontificated Gettleman might use as an out to buy more time (which would be a disaster).
The problem here is, Spotrac doesn’t factor in things like potential – or ‘buzzing around the quarterback’ (eyeroll) – which many people still believe Williams has plenty of. Few have been less on board with having Leonard Williams on this team moving forward than me, but I would sign him at that number – that’s just likely not going to happen, Gettleman guaranteed that when he gave up all his power here.
The best course of action would be for Gettleman to submit his hard-line offer – that Williams will almost certainly not take – and hope that the offer beats, or is in the ballpark of what Williams receives from others on the open market. After that, maybe he circles back due to familiarity and ends up taking that offer.
However, that illustrates just how crazy of a trade this was, as the whole point here is that the Giants could have always had an opportunity to sign him without giving up a top-70 draft pick. Many have strayed their way over to the right side of this argument after Williams was unable to rack up a sack with Big Blue, but to be honest, that was actually the best-case scenario.
If the former USC star went out and had a monster season with the Giants, Big Blue would have even less of a chance of locking him up for a reasonable price.
There aren’t too many ways out of this mess without the team looking foolish, but the above course of action gives the organization it’s best shot.
Now we see if Gettleman is capable of dealing with this pragmatically, and doing what’s best for the team – not himself.