Franchising Leonard Williams was sagacious decision by Giants
The New York Giants decided to place their franchise tag on Leonard Williams prior to free agency, causing some people to question the move. Despite the criticism, Dave Gettleman — the GM of the Giants — said that the decision to tag Williams was made sagaciously.
“Really what it came down to was we felt good about our cap space,” Gettleman said on a Monday conference call, via the team’s website. “We felt for what Leonard brings to the table and for our team, it was more prudent to put the franchise tag on him.”
Ahead of the last season’s trade deadline, the Giants traded a third and fifth-round pick for Williams. Given that, Gettleman was aware that he needed to do everything to retain Williams to avoid ridicule from fans.
As of this moment, Williams has yet to officially sign the tag given to him by the Giants. However, once he signs the tag, Williams is going to make around $16.1 million in base salary. In terms of base salary, that would make him the fifth or sixth highest-paid defensive linemen in 2020.
Over the course of his eight games with the Giants in 2019, Williams notched 26 tackles, 11 quarterback hits, and just half a sack. Rather than sign him to a short-term deal or let him test free agency, New York chose to tag him.
After an active free agency, the Giants are now left with nearly $16 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. While Gettleman was content on tagging Williams, that decision could come back to bite him next season.