The New York Giants aren’t close to finalizing a contract extension with defensive lineman Leonard Williams, per a report.
This offseason, one of the many tasks the New York Giants must complete is a potential contract extension with Leonard Williams. Big Blue traded for the one-time Pro Bowler prior to last season’s deadline. Williams’ contract expires this offseason and he’ll officially become a free agent when the new league starts (March 18 at 4:00 p.m. ET). That means the Giants must figure out something soon.
But unfortunately — at least for those who wanted Williams to stick around — New York doesn’t seem to be making progress.
The #Giants have an interesting decision to make late this week: Do they franchise tag star DL Leonard Williams? Sources say the two sides are not close on a contract extension and Williams will have a strong market. The tag is a possibility, but so is letting him hit the market.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2020
The Giants could indeed tag Williams, whether that be a transition tag or franchise tag. According to Over The Cap, a transition tag for a defensive tackle would be around $12.3 million, while a franchise tag would be in the range of $15.5 million. The deadline to tag players will be this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Big Blue gave the New York Jets third and fifth-round picks for Williams. That fifth-round selection turns into a fourth-round pick if the Giants sign Williams prior to the new league year. Therefore, it could be in the Giants’ best interest to wait until then even if they have an agreement in place prior to that, in order to essentially give up less.
If they let Williams hit the market and he signs with another ballclub, then the trade was a complete waste. The Giants would then be giving up a pick (they’d get back one compensatory pick) for a guy who was essentially a rental player. When you’re a rebuilding team, this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. This is why many fans are still confused about the move.
In eight games for the Giants last year (five starts), Williams recorded 26 combined tackles, 11 quarterback hits, .5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He hasn’t been overly productive since his lone Pro Bowl campaign in 2016.
Williams may not be worth the money he could be seeking. CBS Sports salary cap analyst Joel Corry recently weighed in on Williams’ potential asking price when speaking to Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media.
“Williams is probably looking at closer to Sheldon Richardon’s contract ($12 million per season), than Grady Jarrett’s $17 million per year,” Corry said. “If the market is in the Richardson neighborhood, Williams taking a one-year prove-it deal may come into play.”