NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the New York Giants and defensive tackle Leonard Williams are “on the same page” regarding his contract status for 2020, and potentially beyond.
The #Giants & standout DE Leonard Williams are on the same page as Wednesday’s deadline for franchise players to get deals looms: The plan is to play out the 1-year tag, sources say. The hope is Williams excels in the new system and becomes a big part of the team’s future.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 13, 2020
Rapoport states that the Giants and Williams are both content with the $16 million franchise tag for the 2020 season, with the hope that Williams’ play this year will earn him a long-term extension for the team.
The Giants surprised everyone when they traded their 2020 third-round draft pick to the New York Jets for Williams at the trade deadline last year. Williams’ status with the team was one of the main story-lines heading into 2020 free agency.
Last week, on July 10th, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap wrote that the two sides seem to be far apart on the terms of a long-term extension.
“This one was the worst use of the franchise tag, but the Giants backed themselves into a corner by trading for Williams last year in a season where the Giants were more likely to finish with the worst record in the NFL than in the playoffs. Williams signed his tender way back in April to lock in his salary for the year as this is the best case scenario for him anyway. Williams tracks more with the DJ Reader group of players who earn in the $13 million a year range but his talent and draft status have him looking for somewhere in the $17 to $20 million range. If he had a big year pressuring the QB he might just get there. This disparity is so big I can not see a deal even being considered by either side.”
Both sides are obviously hoping that Patrick Graham will be able to do what Todd Bowles and James Bettcher could not and tap into the potential that got Williams drafted sixth overall in 2015. Williams’ best year was in 2016, notching 7.0 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Last year he only had 0.5 sacks and 2 tackles for loss playing with the Jets and Giants.