Leonard Williams posts a heartfelt Instagram after the New York Jets traded him to the New York Giants on Monday.
The New York Giants have a new defensive lineman on the roster after the team traded for Leonard Williams on Monday. Big Blue gave the New York Jets a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick for the 2016 Pro Bowler.
Regardless of whether fans like the move or not, Williams is a Giant at least for the time being. It’s a new chapter in his career, and in an Instagram post on Monday night, Williams shared a heartfelt message to his followers.
View this post on Instagram
I wanted to take the time to thank the whole @nyjets organization for drafting me and first giving me the opportunity into the NFL! It’s been a pleasure playing here over the last few years through all the ups and downs and will never forget the memories and experiences Shared with my teammates and coaches! Now moving onto the next chapter of my life I want to thank the @nygiants for giving me the opportunity to continue my professional career in the big apple #LFG #GMEN
The Jets drafted Williams with the No. 6 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California. He took off in 2016 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl. During that specific campaign, he racked up 68 total tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss, 19 quarterback hits, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles.
However, his production has regressed since then. In 2017 and 2018, respectively, he racked up just 47 and 42 combined tackles. Thus far in 2019, he’s combined for 20 tackles, zero tackles-for-loss, and zero sacks. In a 16-game spread, he’d be on pace for around 46 combined tackles (second-lowest in his career).
With the Giants, Williams will work in with a defensive line group that includes Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, and Dexter Lawrence. New York selected the latter with the No. 17 overall pick in April’s draft. It’s unclear who the starting group will now consist of in the team’s 3-4 defensive set. But Williams is sure to see significant time in the rotation.