Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams is open to signing a contract extension with the New York Giants after this season.
On Monday, the New York Giants and New York Jets completed a trade with one another for the first time in league history. Big Blue sent a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Jets for defensive lineman Leonard Williams. The 2016 Pro Bowler is expected to add firepower to this relatively quiet and young Giants defensive line.
The situation with Williams, however, is that he’s in the final year of his rookie deal. If the Giants don’t sign him to an extension, then he essentially becomes a rental player. Employing a rental player wouldn’t make much sense for the Giants considering they’re not a playoff team at the moment. The Giants would also receive a compensatory draft pick.
On Wednesday, Williams said he’d be open to prolonging his Giants tenure.
Leonard Williams said he’d be open to signing an extension before free agency but he said there haven’t been any talks with the Giants yet.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) October 30, 2019
Williams is also treating the rest of this campaign as an audition.
Leonard Williams: “I think this whole year is an audition year. My contract year.”
— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) October 30, 2019
The 2015 first-round pick will be working in with Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, and rookie Dexter Lawrence. The latter is also a first-rounder. New York selected him with the No. 17 overall pick in April’s draft.
It’ll be interesting to see how Williams will fit in with this young group. Coordinator James Bettcher could possibly transition to more defensive sets that include four-man fronts. Currently, the Giants run a 3-4 defense.
Through seven games with the Jets this year, Williams combined for 20 tackles, five quarterback hits, and one pass defended. He hasn’t racked up a sack nor tackle-for-loss yet this season.