leonard williams giants
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Reports suggest the New York Giants want to retain Leonard Williams. Fortunately, the star defensive lineman additionally wishes to be back.

Retaining Leonard Williams won’t be easy, especially after what was a dominant 2020 season for the defensive lineman. The Giants‘ leading pass rusher from this past year was an integral part of a productive defensive unit, and for that, the organization will want him back in 2021.

Luckily, Williams wants to remain in East Rutherford as well, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

Leonard reports there is mutual interest when it comes to a new contract, a deal that most certainly won’t be cheap.

The Giants possess a number of options in regard to keeping Williams, although one of the main routes — the franchise tag — seems unlikely.

Williams’ franchise tag value wouldn’t be the set value for his position; 120% of his 2020 salary would be higher and thus the amount he’d be paid. The problem, however, is that it’s currently unknown what 120% of his 2020 salary is.

Last year, the Giants provided Williams with the defensive tackle franchise tag ($16.1 million), which prompted him to file a grievance arguing he should receive the defensive end franchise tag ($17.8 million). That grievance, as of now, reportedly hasn’t been resolved, so his franchise tag value for 2021 may either be $19.4 million (120% of $16.1 million) or $21.4 million (120% of $17.8 million).

Either way, it’s going to be an expensive process to tag him and the price would be right around what Williams’ annual value could be if he were to sign a long-term deal, and you may as well elect to go with the option that keeps him in blue for a lengthier period of time.

The only reason the Giants may still franchise tag Williams is so they can utilize the tool as a placeholder to eventually sign him to a long-term deal at some point before the season.

Tuesday, March 9 marks the deadline to franchise tag players.

The organization also needs to take into account the contract situation involving defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson, who may receive around $10 million per year in a new deal with Big Blue. New York could also look to bring back offensive tackle Cameron Fleming along with edge rusher Kyler Fackrell.

The Giants own a little over $10 million in cap space as of Sunday; more space must be cleared if the team wishes to keep each of its talented defensive linemen who possess expiring contracts along with other current roster pieces.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.