Report: Giants, Leonard Williams to Wait on a Long-term Deal - Why That Makes Sense

Patricia Traina

With the NFL deadline to sign franchise players to a new contract just two days away, the Giants and defensive lineman Leonard Williams are not expected to reach a long-term deal.

Besides the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 virus, the league is potentially facing a significant drop in revenue that could directly affect the 2021 salary cap. It's believed that with no clarity regarding what the cap might look like next year, it creates pause among some teams regarding long-term contracts for certain players. 

There is another reason that could explain any reluctance the team might have on signing off on Williams's long-term contract.

The new coaching staff.

The staff, led by head coach Joe Judge, has inherited a roster of players that may or may not fit into the planned schemes. While Judge himself has stated that he’s willing to give everyone a clean slate to prove their worthiness of being on the team, one can’t ignore that history has shown coaches have a preference of bringing in their own players whenever possible.

That’s something Judge, and his staff did this off-season with Nate Ebner, Montrae Hartage, Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell, and Cooper Rush, to name a few.

To saddle Judge with any player right now long-term wouldn’t be fair and could end up hurting the team if things don’t work out.

Look at what happened with Odell Beckham Jr and Pat Shurmur. The Giants signed Beckham to a long-term deal before he set foot on the playing field for Shurmur. When the relationship soured, the Giants moved on from Beckham, a move that hamstrung the team's salary cap.

Thus saddling Judge with any player long-term would appear to be counterproductive to general manager Gettleman’s goal of working collaboratively with Judge.

Speaking of Gettleman, what about the draft capital he gave up, which was a third-round pick this year and a fifth-rounder for 2021?

RELATED: Leonard Williams: The Good, the Great and the Ugly

First, let’s make something clear. Despite Gettleman’s attempt to explain the move, other than getting to know the guy up close and personal by having him in the building every day, what else could have been learned about him that four-plus years of film couldn't answer? 

And while Williams’ stats in eight games weren’t quite what Giants fans were hoping for, he did make an impact on the defense last year

The trade itself can’t be undone. But if there is any consolation for the Giants in justifying the cost, ask yourself what players who ultimately went in the third round of the draft this year are likely to start and have a significant role for their team as Williams is projected to have for the Giants in 2020.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Coming into a new system 1/2 way into the season; learning on the fly the others around him; only 1 person with any sort of pass rushing ability, Golden; at the top of pressuring the QB; Williams actually did a heck of a job. Sacks are difficult for a DT, yet people ALWAYS bring the sack numbers up. Let's see how, if there is a season, Williams plays out this year.