After being traded from the New York Jets to the New York Giants last season, defensive end Leonard Williams is already on the team he wants to play for. Unfortunately, contract talks have failed to advance, which forced Williams to enter the upcoming season without getting a fresh deal.
The 2016 Pro Bowler expressed his thoughts on the matter via The New York Post:
“I wouldn’t say it was disappointing,’’ Williams said. “I kind of knew the situation I was coming off of last year. I think it’s actually a good opportunity for myself. I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I’m not looking at it as something that’s bad. I’m looking at it as an opportunity.’’
“I don’t let too much outside noise get to me,’’ said the Giants defensive end. “I just try to work hard, keep the blinders on and keep working and doing what I can do.”
In seven starts with the Jets, Williams had 20 tackles, five quarterback hits, and no sacks. Williams in eight starts for the Giants had 26 tackles, 11 quarterback hits, and one-half sack. The regression in his numbers doesn’t seem to help him have significant leverage in contract negotiations with the Giants.
The former USC Trojan still holds a prominent spot in the Giants’ defensive rotation. He is still expected to start on a three-man line together with tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and defensive end Dexter Lawrence. Williams has yet to miss a game in his five-year playing career thus far.
The Giants can’t afford to lose a veteran presence like that of Williams especially coming off a lowly 4-12 tally last season. The team’s pursuit of a better record will start on September 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.