The New York Giants have less than 24-hours to come to terms on a long-term deal with “franchise player” Leonard Williams prior to the July 15th deadline, a scenario that seems almost certain not to materialize.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke the news on Monday that Big Blue and Williams were “on the same page” and that the plan was to play out the 2020 season on the one-year franchise tag. Adding that “the hope is Williams excels in the new system and becomes a big part of the team’s future.”
Giants Slammed for Failure to Ink Williams Long-Term
Safe to say Dan Duggan of The Athletic wasn’t here for the cup half full approach that New York and Williams appear to be taking. Duggan responded to Rapoport’s initial tweet, airing out New York’s massive gaffe that was and still is the handling of Williams’ contract.
Giants fans attempted to come to their team’s defense, but Duggan refused to budge, calling Williams’ half-season with New York in 2019 “worthless”.
Duggan also pointed towards the lack of progress in contract talks between the two parties as a likely foreshadowing of how future negotiations will play out.
It’s widely perceived that the Giants made a massive blunder when opting to dole out draft capital at last year’s trade deadline to acquire the services of Williams from their intra-city rivals, the New York Jets.
That sentiment only grew when the former sixth-overall pick collected a meager 0.5 sack over his seven-game run with Big Blue in 2019. Still, general manager Dave Gettleman opted to double-down on his misfire, slapping the d-lineman with the franchise tag at the start of the offseason.
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Is It Time for Gettleman to Admit Fault?
New York’s failure to come to terms on a long-term deal with Williams is just the latest installment of buyer’s remorse likely felt throughout the franchise.
You would think the fact that Williams appears all but certain to play the 2020 season on the franchise tag would lead to ease in the fact that his contract debacle, for the meantime, is in the rearview mirror. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case.
Williams filed a grievance case against the Giants earlier this offseason to the NFLPA in regards to his salary under the franchise tag.
Williams is fighting the fact that the Giants franchised him as a defensive tackle, which would pay him a fully guaranteed salary of $16.1 million in 2020. However, the former USC-standout believes he should be compensated as a defensive end, which would increase his 2020 salary to $17.8 million. This, despite the fact that Williams played just 21% of his snaps with the Giants at defensive end last season.
With looming extensions for Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Tomlinson, amongst others, Gettleman’s best play moving forward would most likely be to dry his hands clean of the ever-growing regrettable roster decision that was acquiring Williams.