The NY Jets drafted Leonard Williams with the expectation the 300-pound lineman would be an All-Pro for years to come. While he never reached those lofty heights, which prompted his trade to the New York Giants years ago, he has lasted as a high-end interior defensive line starter in this league for almost a decade.
With the Giants stuck in the mud and the Seattle Seahawks in need of another impact lineman, Seattle traded a second and fifth-round draft pick to New York for Williams' services. Williams will reunite with Jamal Adams, another top Jets pick traded away.
Williams seemed to be very complimentary of the Giants organization and how they do business, as he claimed to have an open dialogue with GM Joe Schoen and his agent. His departure from the Jets, however, clearly rubbed him the wrong way.
“The way it was proposed to me through my GM and with my agents was a respectful way I think," Williams said. “I’ve been traded before, and it was very abruptly, and I kind of had no say or anything like that." Williams getting traded was one of Joe Douglas' first moves with the Jets.
Leonard Williams takes shot at Joe Douglas, NY Jets' trade handling
After recording 17 sacks in 4.5 seasons with the Jets, which included a Pro Bowl nod, Williams was traded to the Giants for a third-round choice that later became backup safety Ashtyn Davis and a fifth-round pick that turned into nickel cornerback star Michael Carter II.
Williams ended his Giants career with 22.5 sacks in 61 games, forming one of the best interior defensive line combos in the league alongside the mighty Dexter Lawrence. Seattle needs someone who can stuff the run up the middle, and Williams will certainly provide that at his best.
Douglas has made his mark as a solid procurer of talent, but he's had some missteps in discussing things with players. Contract negotiations with free agents and current players can turn frosty sometimes, and Douglas' lack of prior history with Williams may have made the quick departure seem cold.
While some Jets fans may not be thrilled with Williams' inability to reach that superstar tier, it's nice to see a guy who has played for almost a decade on some awful teams get a shot at a championship ring. While Douglas is regarded highly by Jets fans, some of his former players may not share that rosy point of view.