Giants’ Leonard Williams a candidate for a franchise tag
The Big Apple went through another season of NFL irrelevance as both the New York Giants and Jets failed to make the playoffs. As the Giants go back to the drawing board, they will have to assess their free-agent situation. One of the more pressing questions for the front office is whether Leonard Williams is worth giving huge amounts of money in the offseason.
SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano published a comprehensive piece about the important free-agency decisions the Giants could make in the offseason, and the defensive tackle is one of the more important ones the team will make in the offseason. Vacchiano’s prognosis of the situation is not giving Giants fans a good feeling about the situation at all.
After trading a third- and a fifth-round pick to the Jets to get him, the Giants almost have to re-sign him. He’s indicated he wants big money, though, and it’s hard to justify that. He is definitely a candidate for the franchise tag, which for a defensive tackle will probably cost about $16 million. He could get the transition tag too, for about $3 million less.
It’s important to clarify that Williams is not a bad defensive tackle at all. He’s put up decent numbers in the seven weeks he has played for the Giants. He completed 21 tackles, forced one fumble, and made one pass deflection.
However, he hasn’t performed well enough that he’s justified the Giants giving up a third and fifth-round selection for his services. The fact that he’s also asking for a big paycheck after this is mounting pressure on them.
It’s very likely that they’ll re-sign him to a franchise or transition tag to justify the mid-season trade they made for him. Otherwise, it would become the latest smear on their otherwise chaotic rebuild.