Giants could trade star DL Leonard Williams ahead of deadline

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) celebrates a defensive stop during the first half against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium

The New York Giants’ season has not gone as planned and with the trade deadline around the corner, they could look to offload some assets and build toward the future. According to CBS Sports Insider Jonathan Jones, there is some belief that New York could trade star defensive lineman Leonard Williams for the right price.

Giants could trade Leonard Williams

Williams appears to be the hot name on the trade block for New York. While head coach Brian Daboll declared that the team would not be trading star RB Saquon Barkley, Williams could seemingly be moved for the right price.

“While the Giants aren’t moving Saquon Barkley, sources outside their building seem to think they could part with Leonard Williams if the draft-pick compensation is high enough for the interior lineman on the final year of his deal.”

Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports

Moving Williams would be a potentially surprising move considering he is an integral piece of the defense. He has totaled 20 combined tackles with five quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks this season. However, clearing his lofty cap hit off the books would be important for Big Blue’s front office.

Why Williams could be traded

Williams currently has a $32.26 million cap hit. According to Spotrac, trading Williams would clear $18 million in salary cap space, however, the Giants would likely need to absorb some of the cap hit in the trade.

Few teams in the NFL can take on the burden of Williams’ contract. In reality, the Giants would likely only clear around $6 million in cap space in the deal after taking on a portion of the salary, however, that amount would be enough to give the front office breathing room for the rest of the season.

Williams is in the final year of his deal and, at 29 years old, it is hard to envision him still having a long-term future with Big Blue. Trading him for a draft pick and finding a younger, long-term replacement might be the best option.

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