There hasn’t been much progress between the Giants and Leonard Williams yet, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic (on Twitter). Ideally, the Giants would like to hammer out a deal before the start of the tampering period on Monday.
A new deal for Williams could reduce his 2021 cap hit, giving the Giants some sorely needed flexibility with the reduced cap. As it stands, Williams is set to earn $19.35MM in 2021, a 20% pay raise over last year’s franchise tag.
Last year’s tag raised a lot of eyebrows; Williams responded by dropping jaws. In 2020, he posted a career-high 11.5 sacks, plus 14 total tackles for loss and 30 quarterback hits. Now, Williams is looking for a long-term deal to match his performance. That’ll likely cost around ~$20MM per annum.
The Giants have until mid-July to work out a long-term deal with Williams, but they have an increased sense of urgency with free agency on the horizon. The Giants want to go shopping for help at wide receiver, edge rusher, and other key positions, but they don’t want to do it on a shoestring budget. In turn, Williams’ camp has been happy to slow-play negotiations.
The extra room would also help the Giants to retain their own free agents, including fellow defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson. Tomlinson graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 25-ranked interior defender in 2020. Now, he’s in line for multi-year deal worth $8MM-$10MM per season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.