General manager Dave Gettleman stands by the Giants' decision to trade for defensive lineman Leonard Williams from the Jets, although the late-October move did nothing to alter the team's contention for the playoffs.
The Giants gave the Jets a pair of NFL draft picks -- a 2020 third-rounder and a 2021 fifth-rounder -- for Williams, who had little impact on New York's defense in the second half of the 2019 season.
Speaking at Tuesday's end-of-year press conference, where he addressed his return and the Giants' decision to fire head coach Pat Shurmur after two years, Gettleman said that Williams was a move the general manager would do again.
"Basically, it was a three and a five -- if we sign him, it moves up to a four," Gettleman said of Williams, whose 2021 draft selection becomes a fourth-round pick for the Jets if the Giants are unable to re-sign Williams. "The thought process was I really believe that, as much as the style of play evolves, there are three basic truths -- you have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, you have to rush the passer. If you're seriously deficient in any of those three areas, it makes it tough -- it's going to be tough sledding.
"But bringing in Leonard, obviously, we evaluated the film. By bringing him in, we felt he could be a disruptive force inside -- and he has been, he has been. ... 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. ... Now we know what we have and we're willing to (re-sign Williams). We felt we needed him. We felt good about him and we feel the improvement -- he's disruptive in there. He improved our rushing defense in there and he buzzes around like a linebacker.
"We're just getting finished now, but we felt like the bottom line is we felt it was worth the deal. The juice was worth the squeeze."
Gettleman said that he met with Williams, who said that he wants to remain a Giant.
"He was in my office yesterday and told me he wants to be here," Gettleman said of Williams.
The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Williams recorded 26 tackles (two for loss), 11 quarterback hits (1/2 sack) and one forced fumble in eight games (five starts) as the Giants (4-12) went 2-6 down the stretch.
He hits free agency in the offseason after his fifth NFL season finished with 46 tackles (two for loss), 16 quarterback hits (1/2 sack) and one forced fumble.
Williams' numbers were a steep drop-off from his first four years, including a 2018 campaign in which he notched five sacks and tied a single-season career-high 11 tackles for loss while starting all 16 games.
"I felt that, what he gave us, with the potential what he gives us, was worth those two assets," Gettleman said of Williams.