Giants did something very unique in Leonard Williams trade

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) celebrates a defensive stop during the first half against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Just a day before the NFL trade deadline, the New York Giants traded veteran interior defender Leonard Williams for a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick. This move garnered significant draft capital for a player nearing the end of his contract, positioning the Giants favorably for future team-building efforts. They now possess an additional second-round pick which could be used to draft a new quarterback or to strengthen other areas of the roster in 2024.

Respectful Trade Approach

In a departure from typical trade practices, the Giants allowed Williams the option to veto the trade, showing consideration for his career status and contributions to the team.

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) looks on during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Aug 1, 2023; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) looks on during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

“I’ve been traded before, and it was very abruptly. I kind of had no say,’’ Williams commented upon his arrival in Seattle, referencing his past experience with a trade from the Jets to the Giants, via the Post. “In this situation, my GM came to me, and he wasn’t shopping me around, but out of respect for me and where I’m at in my career, being a little older, he pretty much let me know that a few teams including Seattle that were on the winning side of the season and going to make a push this year.’’

Via the New York Post

Williams’ Performance and New Opportunity

Williams had a solid season with the Giants, playing 360 snaps and achieving 22 pressures, 14 tackles, and 13 stops. He continued his strong performance in his first game for the Seattle Seahawks, despite the team’s heavy loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Praise for the Giants’ Handling of the Trade

Williams’ agent, Brandon Parker, expressed admiration for the Giants’ front office’s handling of the trade, stating:

“Normally I certainly wouldn’t speak on the record about a team, because that’s a mutual respect thing. Because I was so blown away, in a good way, how the Giants handled this situation, I actually want there to be good things said about this front office.”

Via the Post

Giants’ Current Outlook and Quarterback Situation

The Giants face a challenging season with a 2–7 record. Following quarterback Daniel Jones’ ACL injury, Tommy DeVito, an undrafted player from Illinois, is anticipated to take the starting role for the remainder of the season.

As the Giants approach a potential top-five draft pick, they may consider significant organizational changes. Despite Jones’ recent contract extension, the Giants have structured his contract with an exit option after the 2024 season, which could open the door for a rookie quarterback to step in and compete.

Looking ahead, the Giants’ situation is complex, with the possibility of resetting their quarterback strategy and transitioning away from Jones. This approach would allow the front office to align with a newly developed player, potentially marking a new chapter for the team.

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