The New York Giants will have some big decisions to make when 2020’s free agency period rolls around. Not only are they expected to try and find answers for right tackle and pass rusher, but they will have some decisions to make with regards to their own roster.
None of those decisions may be bigger than whether or not to re-sign defensive tackle Leonard Williams.
Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes that Williams could well be one of the Giants top paid free agents, perhaps even the top of their free agent class if they are unable to sign an offensive tackle or pass rusher.
The Giants are intent on re-signing defensive lineman Leonard Williams, which is the only way to justify the third- and fifth-round picks they sent to the Jets for him (that fifth-rounder becomes a fourth-rounder if the Giants re-sign him before March 18). And that could be costly since Williams has said he wants a “big contract” because he thinks he’s a “top-tier interior defensive lineman.
That would put the 25-year-old Williams, at least in his mind, in the $15 million per year range.
Whether he gets that much or something less, he’ll still eat up a considerable chunk of the Giants’ available cap space. More could be gone if they try to re-sign linebacker Markus Golden, coming off his 10-sack season.”
The decision to be buyers at the 2019 trade deadline, sending a 2020 3rd round pick to the New York Jets in exchange for Williams, was controversial to say the least and the trade hasn’t aged particularly well.
Williams tallied 26 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, and 0.5 sacks in his eight games with the Giants, while his presence also limited snaps for sophomore DT B.J. Hill (36 tackles, 2 tfl, 1.0 sack).
The Giants can convince themselves to do anything they want, especially considering they had to be infatuated with Williams to execute the trade in the first place. But it would be difficult to argue that while Williams is a fine defensive tackle in a rotation, that re-signing him would be an effort to save face and avoid the embarrassment of getting no return on the trade.
Could the Giants really afford to pay Williams $30 million per sack and make him a top-5 paid player at his position?