Former NY Jets’ defensive lineman Leonard Williams is not expected to get his extension.
For a team that was all too eager to trade away their former top draft pick, the fact that they were able to get a third-round pick for him stunned the NFL world. Not only that, but the Jets were able to swindle away a conditional mid-round pick in the following year’s draft.
Really, it seemed as though everyone agreed that the Giants’ decision to give up that much draft capital for the talented, but disappointing Williams was a mistake. Evidently, everyone except Giants’ general manager Dave Gettleman.
Williams unsurprisingly didn’t live up to expectations in his eight-game stint with the Giants totaling just a half-sack bringing his season total to — a half-sack in 15 games.
And while Williams provided some value as a run-stuffer, he certainly didn’t prove to be worth the third-round pick and then some that the Giants gave up to acquire him. Shocker.
Yet, failing to admit his mistake, Gettleman opted to franchise tag the former USC star in the offseason and is set to pay him a whopping $16.1 million in 2020. That is, if he doesn’t sign a long-term extension with the team first.
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The fact that that is even on the table is incredible in its own right. But what Williams is currently asking for is perhaps even more incredible.
SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reported on Wednesday that Williams was looking for a contract worth up to $18-20 million per year or as Vacchiano put it — premier pass-rusher money.
Because as well all know, premier pass-rushers have no problem putting up a half-sack in a 15-game season.
Understandably so, the Giants aren’t expected to meet Williams’ demands meaning that he’s set to play the 2020 season on a slightly cheaper, yet still absurd $16.1 million contract.
How does this affect the NY Jets?
But how exactly does the Giants’ expected decision not to extend Leonard Williams affect the Jets? It affects the aforementioned conditional pick that the Jets acquired in last year’s trade.
As per the conditions of the trade, the Jets will receive a fifth-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft that could be bumped up to a fourth-round pick if the Giants extend Williams before the start of the 2021 season.
That doesn’t include the franchise tag which Williams has already agreed to — it’s strictly referring to a long-term contract extension.
With the Giants unlikely to re-sign Williams, the Jets will likely be left with an extra fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft as opposed to the fourth-rounder they could have gotten instead.
The Jets used the other pick acquired in the Williams trade to select Cal safety Ashtyn Davis with the No. 68 overall pick in this year’s draft. And if Davis could develop into a starter, that could prove to be a steal for Gang Green.
This isn’t exactly the best of news for the Jets, but at least they could take solace in knowing that they swindled an in-state rival out of some valuable draft capital.
For perhaps the last time, thank you Dave Gettleman.