Giants’ Leonard Williams is officially signing franchise tag
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
The catch is whether or not Williams will be paid as a defensive end or a defensive tackle. Williams feels he is an end while the Giants think he is a tackle. It’s not an unsubstantial difference given the $1.7 million gap between positions.
The Giants acquired Williams in a midseason trade with the New York Jets this past year.
In eight games with Big Blue, Williams logged 26 tackles, a half of a sack and a forced fumble. Through 15 contests between the Giants and Jets overall in 2019, he totaled 46 tackles.
The 25-year-old, who played his collegiate football at the University of Southern California, was originally selected by the Jets with the sixth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
He played in every game during his rookie campaign and was impressive, registering 63 tackles and three sacks. The following year, Williams was even better, racking up 68 tackles, seven sacks and a couple of forced fumbles en route to a Pro Bowl appearance.
Since then, however, Williams has hardly been the same.
In 2017, he tallied just 47 tackles, a pair of sacks and an interception, and in 2018, he recorded 42 tackles and five sacks.
Still, given that Williams is young and has shown flashes of his dominant potential in the past, the Giants view him as a piece of their puzzle defensively moving forward.
New York went just 4-12 this past season and owns the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday.