The Giants have a big decision to make with Leonard Williams

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants have to make a crucial decision regarding the contract of Leonard Williams this offseason. Williams will carry a $32.26 million cap hit for the 2023 season. New York needs to decide what path they will take to lower Williams’s cap hit while hopefully still keeping him with the team this upcoming season.

What should the Giants do with Leonard Williams?

Leonard Williams is entering the final year of a three-year, $63 million contract signed in 2021. The lucrative deal made Williams one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL with an average annual salary of $21 million.

But as the Giants ran into salary cap problems over the past couple of years, they needed to restructure the contract to clear space and keep Williams for the future. Subsequently, Williams’s 2023 cap hit has ballooned to over $32 million and he also has a 2024 void year on his contract with a cap hit of $5.96 million. The Giants, in need of salary cap space so they can extend the likes of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, need to decide what they will do with Williams’s contract to lower his cap hit.

Cutting Leonard Williams ahead of this offseason will free up $12 million in cap with a dead cap penalty of $20.2 million. However, Williams has said that he wants to remain with the Giants and would be willing to take a pay cut to do so.

According to OverTheCap, the Giants could save $8.4 million in cap space by restructuring Williams’s contract and they could save $13.4 million by extending the contract. An extension could be the best option for both parties as the Giants look to retain Williams at a cheaper price point.

Leonard Williams is coming off a 2022 season in which he played 12 games, posting 45 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks during the regular season. Playing alongside Dexter Lawrence, Williams is one-half of one of the NFL’s best defensive line duos. Big Blue would be wise to retain the 28-year-old defensive tackle at the right price.

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