New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams will reportedly sign his franchise tag tender ahead of the 2020 campaign.
Ryan Honey and Jason Leach both contributed to this report.
The 25-year-old will reportedly sign his franchise tag tender after the team placed on one him last month. Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported the news on Wednesday.
Breaking: Leonard Williams is going to sign his franchise tag tender with the #Giants, per source.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) April 22, 2020
Williams was hoping to ink a long-term deal this offseason after his rookie contract expired. The Giants traded for him last October while he was in the final year of his deal.
The franchise tag for a defensive tackle is $16.126 million, but Williams wants to be considered a defensive end, which would be a bit pricier.
Giants’ DL Leonard Williams is signing his franchise tender, per source.
Question is whether it will pay him as a DE or DT; Williams thinks he’s the higher-priced DE, Giants think lower-priced DT. Difference is about $1.7 million in price.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 22, 2020
According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, Williams will file a grievance in hopes of earning the defensive end classification.
On the DT/DE dispute, source says Williams will file a grievance to be classified as a DE ($17.9M) rather than a DT ($16.1M). A wrinkle: Williams has already filed a grievance to be classified as a DE for his fifth-year option in 2019.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) April 22, 2020
It’s unclear what the next steps will be for the young player and the organization. The Giants could still sign him to a long-term deal at some point and may have to after giving the New York Jets two draft picks for him. The deadline to re-sign him will be July 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET, or else he’ll be playing the 2020 campaign on the tag.
Many would agree that it was a bad trade on Dave Gettleman‘s part to begin with, due to the fact that you shouldn’t give up multiple picks when you’re a rebuilding franchise. Now, the Giants could either have him play out his one-year tag and then let him go after 2020 or likely give up plenty of cap room in order to keep him in the fold for the long term.
Either way, it was a loss of a deal for the Giants.
In eight games (five starts) for Big Blue last year, Williams recorded 26 combined tackles with 11 quarterback hits, .5 sacks, and one forced fumble.