The New York Giants are once again staring down the barrel of ignorance, as interior defensive lineman Leonard Williams is asking for what some might say is crazy money.
General manager Dave Gettleman traded for Williams from the New York Jets, sending them a third-round pick for the former first-round picks services. Over eight games with the Giants, Williams posted 0.5 sacks, 26 combined tackles, 11 quarterback hits, and a 3.7% missed tackle rate.
He undoubtedly deserves somewhere in the $12-14 million range on a long-term deal, but the money he’s asking for makes me think he’s reading someone else’s production.
An update on the Leonard Williams contract situation, per @RVacchianoSNY: Talks started late last season; The two sides are “not close” on a deal as LW is “seeking a deal worth $18-$20M per season”. The deadline is July 15th.
Horrible situation the #Giants put themselves in.
— Giants Daily (@NYGDaily) July 4, 2020
According to Raul Vacchiano of SNY, the Giants and Williams started negotiating late last season, but the two sides are “not close” on a deal. Apparently, he is seeking $18-20 million per season, putting him in the same monetary range as Kansas City Chiefs star, Chris Jones.
Let’s take a look at Jones and his production over the past few seasons, specifically in 2019, when he was elected to a Pro Bowl. Last season, Jones posted 9.0 sacks, forced one fumble, earned 36 combined tackles, and logged 20 quarterback hits. If you go back one more season to 2018, he posted 15.5 sacks, 40 combine tackles, 29 quarterback hits, and forced two fumbles.
His numbers make Williams look like an undrafted free agent, which is why entertaining that type of money for a player of his caliber isn’t even worth talking about.
Recently, ESM reporter Anthony Rivardo spoke about the possibility of the Giants letting Williams walk and paying Jones alternatively, considering Williams is looking for the same number.
The New York Giants have options after 2020
Jones will be a free agent after the 2020 campaign, giving the Giants a fantastic option in case Williams doesn’t produce. It is estimated that Jones will be seeking a deal in the $16-20 million range, similar to Williams. He is currently on a one-year deal with the Chiefs, earning $16.1 million this upcoming year.
Of course, there is the possibility that Williams has a fantastic season, but he hasn’t earned over five sacks since 2016 in his sophomore year. It would be silly to entertain a contract worth more than $14 million per season for Leo, who hasn’t sniffed a Pro Bowl in three seasons. With Gettleman in charge, though, anything is possible.
It is also fair to mention that Williams has a ton of hidden production, but even after considering those statistics, he is nowhere near worth the amount he is looking for on a per-season basis.