The Giants sacrificed two draft picks in order to acquire Leonard Williams from the Jets. Now, there’s a chance that the defensive lineman could depart in free agency, which would effectively turn the trade into a rental.
Ralph Vacchiano of SNY ran down the Giants options, including the transition tag, which they haven’t used in roughly 15 years. The transition tag would extend a one-year tender to Williams at the average of the top ten salaries for defensive tackles, rather than the franchise tag, which is the average of the top five salaries at the position. The franchise tag would amount to a one-year, $15MM tender, keeping Williams locked in with the possibility of an extension before the summer deadline. The transition tag, meanwhile, would be a one-year, $12MM tender – the Giants could match any offer, but they’d receive no compensation if they declined.
Williams, the former No. 6 overall pick in the draft, doesn’t figure to have tons of suitors throwing major money at him, so the transition tag wouldn’t be a major risk. But, if one team is aggressive enough, the Giants could come away from the Williams deal virtually empty handed. While his departure would leave them with improved position in the compensatory pick formula, it wouldn’t guarantee them a third-round pick to replace the one they gave up for him, nor would it bring back the fifth-round choice they also traded to the Jets. Also worth noting: If the Giants extend Williams before the start of free agency, that conditional 2021 fifth-rounder becomes a fourth-round choice.
Here’s more on the G-Men:
- The Giants’ spring cleaning could see the departure of some big names, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. His list starts with linebacker Alec Ogletree, who our own Rory Parks profiled as a release candidate late last week. Others on the block, as Schwartz notes, include tight end Rhett Ellison, defensive end Kareem Martin, and safety Antoie Bethea. Those four cuts would amount to a combined savings of more than $20MM, though the dead money charges would be even steeper. Other big names like left tackle Nate Solder and wide receiver Golden Tate, in theory, could be dropped, but Schwartz expects the Giants to stick with both.
- More from Schwartz, who expects first-year head coach Joe Judge to get a longer leash from the Giants than his predecessors Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. Shurmur, the most recent coach to get the axe, went 9-23 in his two seasons at the helm.
- The Giants will have the No. 4 overall pick in the draft as they look to reshape the team under Judge. The full rundown of the first-round draft order can be found here.