Things are only getting better for the New York Jets after the Leonard Williams trade. Here are the details and why fans received good news this week.
The New York Jets made like a bandit during the 2019 season. No not on the field, but they did off of it when they traded defensive lineman Leonard Williams to their cross-town rival New York Giants.
In the deal, the Giants received Williams, a disappointing former first-round pick who never realized his full potential. While the green and white received a premium third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Although that isn’t everything the Jets got back in the deal, they also received a compensatory 2021 selection with an interesting clause. If Leonard re-signs with the Giants ahead of free agency this year, the 2021 fifth-round pick the team would receive upgrades to a 2021 fourth-round pick.
What are the chances of that happening?
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman spoke publicly for the first time since the deal went down to the media and dropped some interesting nuggets.
Firstly Gettleman explained his rationale for making the trade:
“There are a few basic truths in football: you have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, and you have to rush the passer. If you’re deficient in any of those areas it makes it tough.
By bringing in Leonard Williams, we obviously evaluated the tape and thought he could be a disruptive force for us and he has been.”
He was then asked why didn’t he wait to grab him in free agency since Leonard is a pending free agent this spring?
“Well, that’s a hypothetical. At the end of the day we felt good about him, he did what we wanted him to do, and he wants to be here. We traded for him and now we know what we have in him. We felt we needed him on this team. Leonard improved our rush defense and he buzzes around the quarterback. We need him to finish obviously but we thought the juice was worth the squeeze.”
“The juice was worth the squeeze.”
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) December 31, 2019
Jets fans couldn’t agree more.
The juice was worth the squeeze and now the team has an additional top-70 pick (No. 68 overall, a third-round pick by way of the Giants) and it appears that they’ll have another premium asset in 2021 if Leonard Williams re-signs with Big Blue.
The reason why the Jets moved on from Williams is that he didn’t do what he was drafted to do: sack the quarterback.
This season he played 689 defensive snaps and finished with half a sack. Let’s go back even further, in his last 1,555 snaps he has six sacks. In his last 2,432 snaps, he has eight sacks, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic.
Despite changing jerseys, Leonard is still the same player, a player who can “buzz” around the quarterback but can’t get the job done.
Good riddance Leonard Williams and thanks for everything Dave Gettleman!