Giants: Leonard Williams praises GM Joe Schoen’s ‘respectful’ trade process

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

The New York Giants traded away veteran DL Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks this week in exchange for an impressive haul of draft picks that includes a 2024 second-round selection. Williams had known his name was being brought up in trade discussions, though, he wasn’t eager to leave Big Blue.

However, Giants general manager Joe Schoen approached Williams ahead of the deadline, informing him of the situation, and going about it in a “respectful” manner, according to the veteran defensive lineman.

Leonard Williams praises Giants GM Joe Schoen’s “respectful” trade process

Williams spoke with reporters in Seattle this week upon his arrival and shared insight into the trade process. He spoke highly of Giants GM Joe Schoen and described his handling of the trade as a “respectful” process.

“The way it was proposed to me through my GM [Joe Schoen] and with my agents was a respectful way I think. I’ve been traded before and it was very abruptly and I kind of had no say or anything like that.”

Leonard Williams via The New York Post

Williams now finds himself with the Seattle Seahawks, reuniting with former Giants safety Julian Love. At 29 years old, Williams’ career is entering its final chapter — something he and Schoen acknowledged before the second-year general manager sent him off to play for a contending football team for the rest of the season.

“Out of respect for me and where I’m at in my career being a little older, [Schoen] pretty much let me know that there was a few teams, including Seattle, that were on the winning side of the season and gonna make a push this year,” Williams said per The Post. 

Williams shares insight into the trade

Williams had been traded once before in his career — when the Giants acquired him from the Jets back in 2019 — but he seemed to prefer the way that it was handled this time around.

Reflecting on the trade back in 2019, Williams said that happened “abruptly” and that he had “no say” in the situation. This time around, however, Schoen gave Williams a say in the matter and afforded him ample time to discuss the move with his agents.

“He was just like, ‘I know you have a connection with a lot of those guys over there.’ So he was pretty much like, ‘Let me know before four o’clock today.’ Talk with your agents and stuff like that. So the way it happened felt a little more negotiated and I think it went well.”

Leonard Williams via The New York Post

While Big Blue did receive a haul of draft capital, the absence of Williams will undoubtedly be felt for the remainder of the regular season. The Giants’ decision to trade Williams away for future picks indicates a rebuilding mentality from the front office as they look toward the future amidst their 2-6 start to the season.

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