Veteran Leonard Williams wasn’t shocked the New York Jets decided to move him prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline.
A trade between the New York Giants and New York Jets has finally occurred. On Monday, the Jets sent defensive lineman Leonard Williams over to Big Blue for a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick. It marks the inaugural trade these crosstown rivals have ever pulled off with one another.
The Jets originally selected Williams in the first round (No. 6 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. He made the Pro Bowl in his sophomore campaign in 2016 and was a team captain at one point. But is the Jets’ decision to part ways with him truly that surprising? Not really, at least according to the man himself.
Williams mentioned that he “wasn’t totally [caught] off guard,” per Kristian Dyer of Sports Illustrated Jets Maven.
“I got drafted [to the Jets] and they didn’t keep me, they didn’t want to keep me, but this team definitely showed interest and wanted to go out of their way to get me over here, so I think it speaks volumes on this team wanting me here, and I have to prove to them why they should want me here,” he added.
Williams racked up 20 combined tackles through seven games this year with the Jets. This also comes with a “zilch” in both the sack and tackle-for-loss categories.
It’s unclear how exactly the Giants’ three-man front will look with the former Pro Bowler now in the mix. Regardless, Williams will be playing for a contract during the final eight games of the regular season. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal. If the Giants don’t re-sign him, then he’ll essentially wind up as a rental player.
Just an FYI, rental players don’t make a whole lot of sense when you’re a rebuilding organization, such as the Giants.