It's no secret that the Giants traded for DL Leonard Williams with the intentions to sign him to an extension, with his rookie contract up at the end of the season. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano originally reported that fact last week when the deal went down, saying the team had an exclusive 4 1/2-month negotiating window to talk.
And it looks like they're getting started right away.
Williams has yet to take a snap in the blue and white, yet the Giants will be starting extension talks before Thanksgiving, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman said in an exclusive interview with Giants.com that his intention was certainly to sign Williams long-term, especially after the payout to the Jets to acquire him in the first place.
"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."
If Williams and the Giants do come to terms before the end of the season, that fifth-rounder would turn into a fourth-round pick.
As Gettleman points out, Williams is only 25 years old, and the Giants believe there is some untapped potential on his end. Since he was taken sixth overall out of USC, Williams hasn't put up the sack totals that a highly-ranked lineman would. Over four and a half seasons, Williams has 17 career sacks, and hasn't collected one this season.
However, that doesn't tell the whole story. Williams is extremely proficient in the run game. Since 2016, he has 97 run stops, which is tied third with Minnesota DL Linval Joseph in that span. He also has 43 tackles in the backfield as well.
And how about this: Williams is second only to All-Pro DL Aaron Donald with 38.7 percent of his run tackles going for loss or no gain since 2016. Donald is considered by many as the best interior lineman in the league, so that is some good company to be among.
We'll see how Williams works in DC James Bettcher's 3-4 scheme on Monday against the Cowboys in his team debut. But Gettleman is certain that his young interior just got much better with Williams joining the crew. And an extension will keep that presence there for the foreseeable future.
"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.
"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."