New York Giants: Leonard Williams Has Signed Franchise Tag Tender

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

All the focus right now for the New York Giants is on the NFL Draft, but while the Draft takes up most of the attention, the Giants quietly made an advancement in the Leonard Williams situation. Williams has signed the franchise tag tender according to Pat Leonard, which puts him on course to earn $16.1 million this season if no long term deal is reached with the Giants. The team has until July 15 to come to such an agreement.

But the Giants could end up paying more if Williams wins in being classified as a defensive end instead of a defensive tackle. There’s indeed an argument to be made that Williams should be classified as one, based on the role the Giants have given him, and if he does win the grievance it would raise his salary under the tag to $17.7 million rather than the original 16.

The high salary might be a tough pill to swallow for a Giants team that only received half a sack of production from Williams during their time with him last season after executing a trade with the Jets – but with the team having cap space to throw around this season, keeping Williams for the short term might not get in the way of the team’s plans. The Giants do, however, miss out on two first round draft picks they would have received as compensation if Williams had signed for another team instead of signing the tag tender.

Bringing back Williams isn’t the worst move the Giants could have made, but it does bring into question once again the trade that brought Williams over from the Jets. The Giants did put themselves in this position where there is a choice between overpaying or losing Williams, after all.