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Giants’ DT Leonard Williams tuning out “outside noise”

Williams says “the coaches know and my teammates know what I bring to the table”

Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams is an easy villain for frustrated New York Giants fans. The confusing midseason trade that brought him from the New York Jets. His half-sack in eight games. His enviably large paycheck. Now, his hamstring injury.

It’s a good thing that the seemingly easy-going 26-year-old doesn’t appear to be easily fazed.

“I don’t let too much outside noise get to me. I kinda just try to work hard and keep the blinders on and keep working and doing what I can do.”

Maybe, at least in part, that is because the 2015 first-round pick by the Jets is now New York’s longest-tenured NFL player, something pointed out by another media member during a Friday videoconference Williams, who is entering his sixth NFL season.

Williams on Friday deflected questions about the hamstring injury he showed up to training camp with, telling media they would have to talk to coach Joe Judge about it.

“We can’t really talk about injuries,” he said. “I’m definitely making strides on it and doing the best that I can to get out there with my teammates.”

Williams did, though, talk about playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag and his hopes for the season.

“I think it’s always a player’s interest to get a long-term deal, but that’s something that will work itself out between my agents and the organization and I’m just happy to be here and play with this team again,” Williams said of the franchise tag that will pay him $16.126 million this season.

“I wouldn’t say it’s disappointing. I kinda knew the situation that I was coming off of last year and I think it’s actually a good opportunity. I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I’m not looking at it as something that’s bad, I’m looking at it as an opportunity.”

After getting 7.0 sacks and making his only Pro Bowl in 2016, Williams’ production has tailed off. He has only 7.5 sacks over the past three seasons. He also has not approached the 68 tackles he had that season.

“I wouldn’t say I have something to prove necessarily. I think the coaches know and my teammates know what I bring to the table or I wouldn’t be here. I definitely still feel like I’m playing with a chip on my shoulder at the same time. I’m ready to go out here and play the best that I can,” Williams said.

“I’m definitely still a young player in this league. I feel like I still have a lot in the tank. And I still feel like like I have a lot of years left in my to play in this league.”