At first glance, after “only” giving up a third and a fourth-round draft pick, one might not think the Leonard Williams trade could be the worst of all-time for the NY Giants.
Think again, as even though the NY Giants have surely given up higher draft capital for a worse player (excuse the fact that I’m under 30, so I don’t have a terrific grasp of all the bad deals that went down during the terrible years of the 70s/80s) its the timing and asset management deal with a small side of Leonard William’s pathetic lack of production that makes this one come out on “top” for me.
As I said on the day of the trade, the move showed a clear lack of direction in the franchise, as any other team that was sitting at 2-6 after several bad years in a row would be looking to acquire draft picks at the deadline, not take on a struggling player due to be a free agent while giving up premium assets to do so.
There is little room to attempt to explain the moronic mindset behind trying to get better with a pending free agent in a clear lost season, as any team in the 2019 NY Giants’ position should have been thinking about their 2020 draft pick as opposed to figuring out a way to make the defense slightly better which would, in turn, only add another measly win or two top to keep the team in the same cycle of mediocrity.
But, as we know, that’s just what Dave Gettleman did.
Even though another one of my points this entire time is that it wouldn’t even matter how well Williams played with the NY Giants in 2019, he still somehow made the deal seem even worse by collecting just 0.5 sacks and 2 tackles-for-loss in 15 games.
Sound elite to you?
Well, it sure does to the heavily emotionally involved Dave Gettleman, as he was forced to give in and give Williams a franchise tag for 2020 after the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.
How much worse does it make it for NY Giants that an extension wasn’t reached?
As we know, the main defenders of this trade – namely Dave Gettleman himself – tried to sell us all a bill of goods that just getting Leonard Williams in the building for the last half of the season to evaluate him (like there isn’t film for that) for a future contract, like he’s the only middling defensive lineman in the league, justified parting with such important draft picks in the midst of a rebuild.
The pick that will sting the most will be the third-rounder that was not the NY Giants’ compensatory pick, but in fact, their original third-round pick which ended up landing in the top 70 of the draft — an area where dozens of quality players that make up the foundation of a roster playing on manageable rookie deals exist.
The extra fourth or fifth-round pick in 2021 only adds salt to the wound.
So, in essence, the moment it was announced that Williams and the team would not in fact be striking a contract extension in 2020, this trade went from failure to massive failure as that was the entire point of making this boneheaded move.
Like last season, even if Williams goes out and racks up 10 sacks (don’t hold your breath), the whole point is that he could have been had as a free agent without partying with any draft picks.
And make no mistake about it, those draft picks were super important after Gettleman had already given up several mid round picks to move up to select DeAndre Baker and the team would then be going into the 2020 draft without an extra pick outside of its own inside the 7th round — not exactly how you rebuild.
The fine followers of @GMENHQ Twitter agree that this is the worst trade in the history of the franchise, as about 60% of the votes came in stating that.
Now, as fans, even though we’ve mostly all determined that this was a failed trade all the way around in some form or fashion is root for Leonard Williams to have the best season he can have in 2020, as he’s a member of the NY Giants and he didn’t ask to be involved in this horrific trade, nor did he settle the terms.
That’s all on Dave Gettleman, who took all too long to realize that this team was in a major need of a total rebuild and instead gave up assets like we saw here and signed high-priced veterans.
We’ll start to find out this season if those reckless decisions made when he initially took over are too deep of a hole for him to climb out of, and the Leonard Williams outcome will heavily weigh in that decision.