The Giants want to re-sign Leonard Williams to a long-term deal. But it’s unclear, at this time, if that deal will even get done.
The Leonard Williams saga continues on day two of free agency.
While the Giants have already franchise tagged him, (a designation that would currently pay him $19.4 million for the 2021 season) the organization would prefer to eventually sign Williams to a long-term deal.
However, it doesn’t seem like either side is close to an agreement, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Williams reportedly is asking for “a lot more” than the aforementioned tag price when it comes to his annual salary.
The #Giants want to get a long-term deal with franchise tagged DL Leonard Williams, but there isn't much progress, per @MikeGarafolo. The tag is worth $19M; Williams is asking for "a lot more" per year than $19M. The whole situation is holding them up from doing other business.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 16, 2021
Many previously believed Williams could earn around $20 million per year in a new deal, but it seems that’s an understatement. The Giants may need to provide him with a contract that pays in the $22-25 million-per-year range, and it’s very much unclear if the organization would be willing to do that given its other free agency-related obligations.
Obviously, retaining Williams is the No. 1 priority for the Giants right now, but if he’s going to request way too much and contract talks are going to remain at a stalemate, it may be in the Giants’ best interest to rescind the tag, move on, and look to solve other issues, such as the need for a No. 1 receiver.
Losing out on Williams is not going to look great for the Giants front office though, a Dave Gettleman-led group that’s already lost Dalvin Tomlinson to the Vikings this offseason.
Regardless, better planning on either of these contract situations should’ve been executed.
The Giants should’ve extended Tomlinson last year instead of shortening their timeframe to do so this year. If Gettleman was so confident Williams was going to be a key piece of the defense, he should’ve additionally extended him last year instead of franchise tagging him.
The veteran general manager put the Giants in a tight financial situation with a number of crucial responsibilities on-hand this offseason, and because of it, one talented defensive lineman is gone and there’s a chance the other could be as well.