Retaining Leonard Williams isn’t going to be cheap, but it’s also not going to be out of the question for the Giants, who are thought to be prioritizing the defensive lineman’s return.
While it remains to be seen as to how Williams’ contract might look, I’ve tried my hand at piecing together a mock contract structure for Williams, who turns 27 on June 20.
To do this, I used Over the Cap’s premium services (subscription required) to make player comparisons and to gain a better idea of how to distribute the money across the contract’s lifetime.
When the dust settled, I came up with a four-year, $72.9 million contract (average of $18.225 million per year) with just over $43.075 million (60%) of the deal guaranteed and a very cap-friendly $7.825 million in the first year (versus the $19+ million that it will likely cost the team if they franchise him.
Here is the structure of my mock deal:
The total signing bonus is $20 million, so between that, the P5 (base) salary, and a workout bonus, Williams will get $21.325 million cash (29.2% of the total contract) in the first year.
However, his first-year cap figure will be $7.825 million in this scenario because the signing bonus is prorated at a rate of $5 million over the contract's life.
That means the Giants will save approximately $11.175 million if they went with the number I have in the first year of the deal versus tendering Williams with a second franchise tag at a cost hovering around $19 million.
I have Williams getting $43.075 million in total guaranteed money, 60% of the contract, and $33.575 million in fully guaranteed money.
The difference between total guaranteed versus fully guaranteed is that fully guaranteed means he'll get that money regardless of what happens. But in a scenario such as what I have in the 2023 league year where I'm only guaranteeing $5 million of the $11 million base salary, and I have a $5 million roster bonus.
The Giants could exit the deal at that point if they wanted and would only be on the hook for the $5 million guaranteed base salary.
I also included annual incentives for sacks—he’ll get an extra $1.5 million per year of the contract if he hits double-digit sacks in each of the seasons of the contract. If he doesn’t hit that metric, the money gets credited back to the Giants' cap.
I have the contract set up so that the Giants can get out of it after three years when Williams turns 30. This also allows Williams to seek a new deal if he so desires.
What's next for the Giants this off-season? Sign up for our FREE newsletter for all the latest, and be sure to follow and like us on Facebook. Submit your questions for our mailbag. And don't forget to check out the daily LockedOn Giants podcast, also available for subscription wherever you find podcasts.