DL Leonard Williams
As patently absurd as it was for the Giants to trade a third-round and fifth-round pick to the Jets last season for Williams, at 2-6 just eight weeks before he was set to become a free agent, it would be a mistake not to at least try to sign the suddenly dominant defensive lineman long-term.
Williams is in the midst of his most productive season, and has been one of the Giants’ best defenders through the first 11 games.
Playing in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s system and under the tutelage of first-year defensive line coach Sean Spencer, Williams looks every bit the first-round pedigreed talent the Jets thought they were selecting and the Giants traded for.
Williams currently has six sacks, 36 total tackles, and has generated 36 total quarterback pressures, including 18 hurries.
Team sources tell GMenHQ that the Giants’ plan all along was to use the franchise tag on Williams, so long as he didn’t disappoint down the stretch last season, and make every effort to re-sign him if he played at a high level in 2020. Williams has certainly held up his end, the question now becomes whether the Giants will commit to him long-term this offseason …
“Williams and his camp will certainly want to reset the defensive end market, but in reality wants top-three defensive end money and best case is that he gets top-five money at the position. If he negotiates as a defensive end, and continues to produce at this level, he’ll push for and probably command a four-year deal in the $20-$25 million annual range.”