After trading for defensive lineman Leonard Williams prior to Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, the question on the minds of Giants fans remains: Will he stay with Big Blue after the eight games remaining this season?
In an interview posted on Giants.com Friday, general manager Dave Gettleman confirmed that the team would certainly like that to be the case.
"We gave up a [third-round pick] and a [fifth-round pick]" Gettleman said. "Our goal is to sign him long-term. He's only 25 years old. And obviously talented. He's a piece you can build around."
Since he took the reins as general manager prior to the 2018 season, Gettleman has prioritized acquiring what he calls "hog mollies," big players on either side of the ball that can dominate at the line of scrimmage.
"Big men allow you to compete," Gettleman said.
Gettleman drafted B.J. Hill in the third round in 2018 and used his 2019 first-round pick on fellow defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence. Now, he adds Williams to a young, but extremely talented defensive line that he hopes will terrorize opposing quarterbacks for years to come.
"It gives us a really strong inside defensive tackle rotation," Gettleman said. "We're very happy with the progress that B.J. Hill is making. We're happy with Dexter Lawrence and Dalvin Tomlinson. We're very happy with our defensive tackle group, but you're always looking to get better. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Defensive tackles line up closer to the quarterback than defensive ends."
Time will tell how those four players will fit in on the defensive line, especially since the Giants' pimarily switched to a 3-4 defense last season. But Gettleman believes that gives the team the option to give opponents different looks throughout a game, which will make them that much harder to gameplan against.
"This gives us a real strong rotation," Gettleman said. "You just roll them in and out, which makes it very difficult for the opposing team."
Though he's having a down year this season - he has yet to record a sack in 2019 - there's no doubt that Williams has the ability to be a productive, if not an impact player on defense. For Gettleman, one of the most important things is simply that he's shown that he can stay on the field. Williams did not miss a game in his four-and-a-half seasons in a Jets uniform.
"When you're building your team, especially in the offseason, you count on guys to be available," Gettleman said. "When you get into a situation where you can't count on a guy, how do you plan? The best ability sometimes is availability. Leonard has been available his whole career."
He's available as a Giant for the first time Monday night when they host the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.