The New York Giants have some big choices up ahead when it comes to managing the cap, and the most apparent one is the selection of Dalvin Tomlinson or Leonard Williams. It’s looking like the Giants are going to have to choose between a more consistently solid defensive lineman and one who stepped up his game big time as of recent to contribute more in the sacks department. And if they handle things wrong, they may see the line take a big step back this year.
With the flashier numbers last season, however, it may be Leonard Williams that’s the most likely to leave in free agency. That’s what Pro Football Focus predicted when they ranked 100 free agents, including giving predictions on their destinations.
Williams was traded from the New York Jets to the New York Giants in 2019 and had to move his locker across Metlife Stadium. He may be moving much further than that after the 2020 season unless he can agree to a long-term extension with the Giants coming off the franchise tag. A second franchise tag for Williams would cost the Giants $19,351,200 (120% of his current tag) and isn’t out of the question. That number also provides a solid floor for Williams in negotiations in terms of an average per year amount.
Prediction: Panthers sign Williams for four years, $80 million ($20M APY): $47.5M total guaranteed, $32.5M fully guaranteed at signing.
On the other hand, the Giants are predicted to sign Tomlinson to a four year and $52.5 million dollar deal with $26.5 million guaranteed. Williams is rated as the 20th best free agent while Tomlinson is rated as the 39th best.
Williams raised his performance to complete the season with 11.5 sacks, the most from a Giants pass rusher in recent memory. Arguably, Williams turned into the best pass rusher the Giants have had since they fully started rebuilding.
Tomlinson on the other hand doesn’t bring in numbers as flashy as that, but has more consistently shown up for the Giants in four seasons with the team. After all, he’s started every game during those four seasons and his numbers haven’t jumped around wildly like Williams’ have.
At the end of the day, the Giants will want to keep both players, but it’s increasingly looking like they won’t be able to do that. If one of the two is going to leave, it would make sense that the more expensive of the two goes elsewhere to make more money.