The New York Giants have a big situation on their hands when it comes to the pass rush spot. Leonard Williams was their sack leader in 2020, and after doubts about whether or not he would return for 2021, the Giants franchise tagged him for the second straight year. This, of course, now leaves the question of whether the Giants are going to sign Williams to a long term deal or not.
The #Giants are working to sign DT Leonard Williams to a new contract after giving him the franchise tag, because they want him in their future… and a new deal would give them cap room to sign others. pic.twitter.com/ftIQgoGd92
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2021
According to a report from Ian Rapoport, however, the team is leaning in that direction and working on making that deal happen. The second franchise tag costs more, so the Giants will have to pay $19.3 million to Williams this season as things stand. However, they do have until July to change that by coming to an agreement on a long term deal – that hasn’t happened yet, obviously.
Williams seemingly has a lot of leverage here as a player coming off his best season, and one that will definitely draw him interest from other teams around the league. However, that’s not to say that Williams has no reasons to stay.
He’s played his entire career in New York, having been traded from the Jets when he joined the Giants, and is also playing in a system where he’s been able to flourish. Williams was considered an underperformer for the Jets and a bust in his first season with the Giants, but was able to turn it around partly due to the coaching of Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator.
With that being said, the future is unclear – there would be benefits to both sides from a long term deal, but the Giants may just end up paying up big time to have Williams play on the tag and avoid losing their top pass rusher.