8:47pm: The Giants are hoping to finalize a Williams summit within the next few days, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports. It’s possible, a source tells Vacchiano, that Williams instead meets with the Jaguars first.
7:11pm: Williams may not be arriving for his Giants visit tonight after all. Williams still intends to meet with the Giants, but there are details that need to be ironed out, Rapoport tweets. The Jaguars are also in the mix for Williams, Mike Garafolo of FoxSports.com tweets.
6:23pm: Williams’ visit will begin tonight and continue through Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Rapoport notes the Giants have a chance to keep him from visiting other teams. They carry the third-most cap space in the league, behind only the Jaguars and Raiders.
The Giants already scheduled a visit with former Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson for today and are moving aggressively to gauge the pass-rushing options before free agency opens Wednesday. They are permitted to speak with the 31-year-old Williams and 29-year-old Johnson because their respective teams released them.
The Giants are among the four or five teams with which Williams is likely to visit, Raanan reports. Johnson also plans to visit with the Buccaneers.
Raanan expects the Giants to be in the running for the other top UFA edge-rushers, a group that includes Tamba Hali, Bruce Irvin and William Hayes. Hali and Irvin, however, have played linebacker for the most part of their careers, with Hali last serving as an end in 2008.
Williams wrapped up a visit with the Dolphins, according to the team’s Twitter account. His next potential employer has far more cap space and less talent at defensive end currently on its roster. The Dolphins feature Cameron Wake and transition-tagged Olivier Vernon at end, while the Giants are without both returning starters — Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers — from the end of last season. JPP and Ayers are unrestricted free agents.
The Bills released Williams on Tuesday in advance of the former No. 1 overall pick being on their books for $19.9MM in 2016. Williams did not fare well in Buffalo’s transition to a 3-4 scheme last season, recording only five sacks — his fewest since his 2006 rookie campaign.
But Williams has always performed better as a 4-3 end, recording 38 sacks from 2012-14 in Buffalo, and the Giants use that scheme. They no longer possess any of the assets from their NASCAR package halcyon days, although JPP could still be in the picture, but have more than $55.7MM worth of cap space to address the position.
Despite Pierre-Paul’s return, the Giants finished with 26 sacks, which was good enough for 30th in the league.
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