Giants DL Leonard Williams signs franchise tag

Giants DL Leonard Williams signs franchise tag

The Giants‘ midseason trade for Leonard Williams will net them at least one more season with the defensive lineman.

Williams signed his non-exclusive franchise tag, the team announced Wednesday. That guarantees him a salary worth the average of the top five salaries at his position. The question now is whether he’ll be paid as a defensive tackle or defensive end, a situation that could end up going to arbitration. There’s also the chance that Big Blue and Williams, who’s no longer free to speak with other teams, agree to a multi-year extension by July 15.

The New York Daily News first reported the development.

Six months ago, the New York Jets sent their top pick from the 2015 draft to the alternate locker room at MetLife Stadium in exchange for a third-round pick in this weekend’s draft and a fifth-rounder in 2021. It was the first swap between the two teams since 1983, per NFL Research.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said he brought in Williams to bolster the rush defense and pass rush. It’s debatable whether that happened over the second half of the season, as New York’s defense again finished in the lower half of the league in both areas. Williams recorded 26 tackles, including two tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks in eight games with the Giants. He has 17.5 career sacks and 34 TFLs over five seasons, and was a 2016 Pro Bowl selection.

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