The New York Giants have struck a deal with star defensive lineman Leonard Williams.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Giants and Williams reached an agreement on a three-year, $65 million deal, with $45 million fully guaranteed.
Giant and Leonard Williams have agreed on a 3 year deal for 63 million with 45 million fully guaranteed. Roosevelt Barnes and Brandon Parker, and exec Kevin Abrams finished the deal today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2021
Williams, whom the Giants acquired from the crosstown rival Jets in the fall of 2019, played on the franchise tag in 2020. He bet on himself, and it paid off.
The 26-year-old was one of the more notable Pro Bowl snubs. Williams dominated, posting a career-high 11.5 sacks in addition to 30 quarterback hits and 14 tackles for a loss. He lined up opposite offensive guards and on the edge, using a combination of speed and power to cause havoc in the defensive backfield.
Williams should be the anchor of New York’s defense going forward. The Giants surprised on that side of the football in 2020, ranking ninth in defensive scoring and 12th in total yards allowed. New York also ranked 10th in takeaways.
What about the offense?
Williams’ contract suggests the Giants are certainly willing to spend money to sign or keep impact players. But the issue is the general lack of cap flexibility.
New York would be an ideal landing spot for Kenny Golladay, who is the No. 1 receiver on the market. The former Pro Bowler would be a huge upgrade in the receiving corps and a top target for quarterback Daniel Jones. But the Giants and other teams appear to have varying levels of interest in Golladay depending on price.
The Giants will have to navigate the market to make upgrades in other areas of need. But they addressed priority No. 1 by re-signing Williams.