Tag:

Leonard Williams

The NFL Draft is over and the Giants look to be done with setting up their roster for training camp this upcoming season. But solidifying the right players for the 2020 season is far from over. 

With there no longer being a 53-man roster, two more roster slots open thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was voted on this offseason. 

So, with rookies and free agents joining the veterans already on the roster card, here is a way-too-early 55-man roster prediction for Big Blue.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Alec Ogletree, B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Corey Coleman, Dalvin Tomlinson, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Penny, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Jabril Peppers, Janoris Jenkins, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Carter, Nate Solder, Oshane Ximines, Riley Dixon, Ryan Connelly, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez, Zak DeOssie, Scott Thompson
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John Mara
John Mara

Giants co-owner John Mara has been blunt at times over the last three seasons as his team has gone a combined 12-36 while going through two head coaches.

One of the main issues that has plagued the Giants has been their offensive line, and Mara -- who said he believes the team is "on the right path" -- was fully on board with Dave Gettleman's decision to go heavy on offensive line prospects (including No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas) in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"These guys gotta prove themselves as players, but that was the focus going into the draft," Mara told Steve Serby of the New York Post. "It's something I've been banging on them for a while, we really had to get this fixed once and for all.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Danny Abriano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Everyone has seen the YouTube video of Jets fans expressing their anger and experiencing various degrees of pain through the NFL Drafts over the years. It's a classic, and it always resurfaces like an old football injury at this time of the year.

But times, they are a-changing - or at least that's the way it seemed during the first draft with new general manager Joe Douglas in charge. He made what appeared to be great value picks. He made outstanding trades that immediately worked out in his favor.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Leonard Williams might have signed his franchise tag with the Giants, but he's not happy about it. 

It's not because a long-term deal with the team doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. It's due to the Giants designating him as a defensive tackle -- not a defensive end. 

Because of that, Williams has officially filed a grievance to the NFLPA about the matter, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. The NFLPA will, then, file the grievance to the NFL.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Nov 10, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman looks on during pregame against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Nov 10, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman looks on during pregame against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Giants GM Dave Gettleman and assistant GM Kevin Abrams spoke on a conference call on Monday afternoon.

Here are the takeaways...

Why did Leonard Williams get the franchise tag instead of transition tag?

"What it came down to was we felt very good about our cap space," Gettleman said, adding that it was "more prudent" to use the franchise tag over the cheaper transition tag.

Tags: Evan Engram, Leonard Williams, Saquon Barkley, Danny Abriano
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Yannick Ngakoue
Yannick Ngakoue

While Giants GM Dave Gettleman upgraded his defense with players like James Bradberry and Blake Martinez, he didn't address the need of an elite pass rusher. That's why ESPN's Adam Schefter believes the Giants could be a potential landing spot for DE Yannick Ngakoue, the disgruntled edge rusher the Jaguars continue to hold under the franchise tag, in a trade. 

Schefter spoke on 97.5 The Fanatic on Ngakoue's status with Jacksonville, saying he can't see the team hanging on to the Pro Bowler after the NFL Draft.

"There will be people in the organization, like the owner [Shad Khan], who will not want to move him," Schefter said, "which means that they'll be firmer in their price. But if they don't trade him, they've got a mess on their hands."

In a trade package, Schefter is saying the Jaguars could be looking for "a first-rounder, maybe then some." But what if it's the No. 4 overall pick in the draft? 

Tags: Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Yannick Ngakoue (Douglas DeFelice)
Yannick Ngakoue (Douglas DeFelice)

Jaguars stud defensive end Yannick Ngakoue still hasn't been granted his wish of finding a new team this offseason. Jacksonville hit him with the franchise tag, and according to CBS Sports, owner Shad Khan is reportedly not really willing to move him at the moment. 

But with the NFL Draft kicking off in two weeks, ESPN's Adam Schefter believes the Jaguars have to move Ngakoue either before or during it, or "they've got a mess on their hands," he told 97.5 The Fanatic. Ngakoue has been very vocal in saying his time with the Jaguars is up. 

Among the teams Schefter believes would be a potential land spot? The Giants. 

Tags: Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Jedrick Wills/Lloyd Cushenberry
Jedrick Wills/Lloyd Cushenberry

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the seven NFL Drafts he's been a general manager, but the sense around the NFL is that he's never been more willing to do it. That's partly due to a new philosophy in the Giants' front office and a willingness to break old habits.

But it's mostly because a unique opportunity should be there.

In some ways, the Giants are in a powerful position since they don't need a quarterback in a draft that has three who should go in the Top 10 -- maybe even the Top 5. There are several teams -- including two right below them -- who might be jockeying for position to get the quarterback they want. And the Giants could drop a few spots and still get the player they would've taken at No. 4 overall.

Tags: Dalvin Tomlinson, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Leonard Williams, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Douglas DeFelice)
(Douglas DeFelice)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Yannick Ngakoue clearly doesn't want to be a Jacksonville Jaguar, nor does he want to play under the $19.3 million franchise tag. He even scolded his team on Twitter on Tuesday for preventing him from "taking care of his family" and begged them "Let's move on."

So yes, teams are circling to see if the Jags have had enough and are willing to trade their 25-year-old pass-rushing star. At the moment, there's no indication that they are, but things could always change. And if it does, one thing is clear about this situation:

Trading for Ngakoue is going to cost a lot.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Brian Winters, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tristan Wirfs/Isaiah Simmons
Tristan Wirfs/Isaiah Simmons

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Giants and GM Dave Gettleman really are sitting pretty at No. 4 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. They don't need to draft a quarterback after doing so last year at No. 6. And with a few more holes to fill, any top prospect will be an immediate help next season and after. 

But what truly is the right pick here? 

Of course, Gettleman could easily trade down and still get a solid prospect while collecting draft capital. Some believe that he should focus on that in the first place. In this scenario, though, let's go with what experts believe he'd do at No. 4, and that is take an offensive tackle. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Carter, Nate Solder, Oshane Ximines, Ryan Connelly, Scott Thompson
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman stunned the NFL back on April 20, 2016 when he did what many thought was unthinkable. He had an All-Pro cornerback, generally considered one of the best in the NFL, on an ascending team coming off a loss in Super Bowl 50. And he had him locked up for the next season with the franchise tag.

Then, he pulled that tag right out from under Josh Norman's feet.

Gettleman's decision to rescind the franchise tag that day was bold, bizarre, and almost universally criticized. But from Gettleman's view, as the Carolina Panthers general manager, it was a responsible and necessary thing to do.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here's a player-by-player report card for the Giants' free agent signings so far


CB James Bradberry (three years, $45 million, $31.8 million guaranteed)

The Giants needed big-time help at this spot after dumping Janoris Jenkins in December, and they got arguably the second-best corner on the market at a somewhat reasonable price.

Bradberry is big (6-foot-1, 212 pounds), fast (4.45 40-yard dash), and he'll be a big help for an otherwise young secondary that includes last year's first-rounder DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal. If they were going to spend "big" money, it had to be either at corner or pass-rusher, and once most of the top pass-rushers were tagged, they wisely got aggressive here.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Joe Douglas/Justin Jefferson
Joe Douglas/Justin Jefferson

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have eight draft picks, including four in the first two days of the draft. That, of course, includes the third-rounder they got from the Giants in the Leonard Williams trade.

Considering how many holes they have to fill after their slow trip through the free agent market, they certainly can put those picks to good use. Exactly how they'll do that is hard to know with one month still to go until the draft starts.

But here's an early projection, based on the team's needs, what sources have said about players they might like, and what scouts have said about the value of certain players in the draft...

Tags: Bless Austin , Brian Poole, Jamison Crowder, Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In some ways, Dave Gettleman went for quantity over quality during his free-agent shopping spree last week. For the most part, instead of getting the most expensive players on the market, he spread his money out so he could fill some of the Giants' many needs.

And he certainly did. He filled a big hole at cornerback, two at linebacker, and added a right tackle, all while also finding a backup quarterback, a special teams ace, and a blocking tight end. He also re-signed his kicker, the Giants' best special teamer, and -- though not everyone loves this move -- insured the Giants will get at least a full year out of Leonard Williams after his controversial trade.

In the process, Gettleman has used almost all of the Giants' $72.7 million in cap space. The exact number is hard to figure until the details of all the contracts are known, but he seems to have only about $7 million left based on the contracts and contract numbers SNY has obtained. He'll actually need to create some more space with either cuts or contract restructures to sign the Giants' draft picks and keep enough money as an in-season reserve.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
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The Giants have made a few free agent additions while bringing back some familiar faces to upgrade their roster for the 2020 season. Here's how their depth chart shakes out at the moment, and more importantly, where they can improve moving forward...


QUARTERBACK: Daniel Jones, Colt McCoy, Alex Tanney

The Giants wanted some backup quarterback competition behind Jones, and that's when they got McCoy on a one-year deal on Thursday. Matt Moore was their first option, but he turned down their offer. McCoy was next on the list. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Golden Tate, Jabril Peppers, Leonard Williams, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Scott Thompson
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The Giants have made several moves, adding to their defense -- filling a few holes before the NFL Draft rolls around. But they could still use a pass rusher and a very familiar one is still out on the market. 

Markus Golden, the man who had a bounce-back year in a Giants uniform last season, has yet to sign a new deal. According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, the interest is still there for the Giants to sign him. The price tag is the biggest question. 

Spotrac has Golden's market value set at $13.5 million after totaling 10.0 sacks with 72 combined tackles -- 13 for loss -- and a career-high 27 quarterback hits, which was ranked sixth in the league last season. He also scooped up a 42-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football. 

Tags: Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Scott Thompson
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Giants GM Dave Gettleman
Giants GM Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When it comes to NFL free agency, $72 million sure ain't what it used to be.

All it took was 36 hours, a handful of players, and one moderate splash into the free-agent pool, and the Giants managed to use up just about all of their available space under the $198.2 million salary cap. They began with $72.7 million in room, according to OverTheCap.com. And based on contract figures provided to SNY by multiple NFL sources, the Giants have used approximately $62.6 million so far.

That leaves them with about $10 million left to spend. And considering GM Dave Gettleman had spoken of leaving a $20 million "cushion" for draft picks, mid-season replacements and possibly in-season contract extensions, it means the Giants' foray into free agency is basically done.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry (24) reacts to a pass break up in the third quarter against the New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Oct 7, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry (24) reacts to a pass break up in the third quarter against the New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

The first day of NFL free agency has passed, and many eye-opening deals went down in those 24 hours as the league shook up its rosters. 

The Giants were among those that added some new pieces, especially on the defensive side of the ball. And GM Dave Gettleman still has about $55 million to work with, so Big Blue might not be done. 

Here's what happened on Day 1, starting with the team's latest signee:

Tags: Evan Engram, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman swore his "thick rhino hide" was tough enough to handle the criticism he'd get if he let Leonard Williams simply walk away for nothing.

But the world will never know.

The Giants, as expected, placed the franchise tag on the 25-year-old Williams on Monday, the team announced. That has long been the Giants' plan, multiple sources said, since the moment they acquired him from the Jets in October. They did try to sign him to a long-term contract, but sources said they were never close to making that a reality.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (95) reacts after a play against the Tennessee Titans during the first half in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)
Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (95) reacts after a play against the Tennessee Titans during the first half in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)

Trades in the NFL are rare. Unlike other professional leagues where the trade deadlines and start of league new years often feature a huge amount of player movement, the NFL has become more of a free agency-driven league. But every once and a while, that blockbuster trade happens. Here are some trade options the Giants should explore this offseason ...


DT Chris Jones

Jones is currently set to hit the open market as a free agent when the new league year begins, but multiple reports have the Chiefs placing the franchise tag on the 25-year-old. The cost of that franchise tag depends on whether or not the Chiefs classify him as a defensive tackle or defensive end (though he'd likely lose the case if he argued himself as a defensive end), but even if it's above $15 million, Jones' talent would make him an interesting trade target.

Just last season, the Chiefs tagged pass-rusher Dee Ford and then traded him to the 49ers for a second-round pick. The Giants need help with their pass rush, and with the uncertainty of Leonard Williams' situation, adding an elite, interior pass-rusher could be exactly what they need. Jones has totaled 31.0 sacks over the last three seasons, including 15.5 sacks in 2018.

Jones was a big reason why the Chiefs were able to make their run to the Super Bowl, and he could be a huge piece for the Giants' defense. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Leonard Williams
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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

The 2020 offseason is a very important one for Dave Gettleman and the Giants. With rising young stars like Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones on their rookie contracts, now is the time for Big Blue to spend big money elsewhere and build the most complete team they can.

And while there are players the Giants should definitely go after, there are also players they should avoid. Here are seven who might not be worth the Giants' time and money ...


Edge rusher Shaq Barrett

Pass rush is a huge priority for the Giants this season, but most of the big names are likely to get tagged (either with the franchise or the transition tag), including Buccaneers edge rusher Shaq Barrett. But if for some reason Barrett isn't tagged, he's likely to come with a huge price tag, and the Giants should question whether a potential one-year flash in the pan is worth a multi-year deal. 

Barrett bet on himself with a one-year deal with the Buccaneers last season, and it paid off (soon to be quite literally) for the 27-year-old, as he led the NFL with 19.5 sacks and is set for a big-time payday. But in his five seasons with Denver, he combined for just 14.0 sacks, so which player would the Giants really be getting? 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Leonard Williams, Nate Solder, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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Prior to last season's trade deadline, Dave Gettleman and the Giants traded multiple draft picks to acquire former Jets' sixth-overall pick Leonard Williams.

The move was seen as a risk at the time, as Williams was in the last year of his contract, and the Giants had given up valuable draft assets - a third and a fifth-round pick (that will become a fourth-rounder if Giants re-sign him before the new league year) - to bring in a player who wasn't a sure bet to be with the team long term. 

So now that the new league year (which begins on March 18) is right around the corner, the question remains: Do the Giants need to re-sign Williams?

The crew from The Thread discussed that very issue on Tuesday …

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Dec 1, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) shake hands after a play during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) shake hands after a play during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport provided an update on any pending contract talks between the Giants and defensive lineman Leonard Williams on Monday. 

The outlook continues to look bleak. 

Per Rapoport, the Giants and Williams remain a long ways away from meeting a deal before the NFL's March 16 tampering period (when teams and free agents can start talking) unless things change "dramatically." Because of that, RapSheet added that the use of the franchise tag is something the Giants are discussing... but he says no decision has been made in regard to using it.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

INDIANAPOLIS - Dave Gettleman admitted the Giants are "discussing" the possibility of using the franchise tag Leonard Williams.

If they do, they also better be bracing for a fight.

If the Giants do franchise Williams in the next few weeks, they are expected to tag him as a defensive tackle. And if they do, Williams' camp will likely file a grievance claiming he should be tagged as a defensive end, according to an NFL source. Williams played both positions with the Giants and Jets last season, but being tagged as an end could earn him approximately $2 million more.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Asked if the Giants have discussed using the franchise tag or transition tag on pending free agent Leonard Williams, GM Dave Gettleman answered in the affirmative.

"We're discussing that and I don't discuss negotiations anyhow, but that's [in] discussion," Gettleman said Tuesday at the NFL Combine.

Still, while the Giants could tag Williams or extend him between now and the start of free agency, Gettleman -- who surrendered a 2020 third-round draft pick and 2021 fifth-round pick to trade for Williams during the 2019 season -- seemed open to the idea of letting him walk. And the fallout that could result from it.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Danny Abriano
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams made only 20 tackles with the team in seven games after being acquired from the Jets in a trade on Oct. 28.

The Jets drafted him sixth overall in the 2015 NFL draft out of USC, but he's struggled in recent years after being named to the Pro Bowl in 2016. The 25-year-old is set to be a free agent, as the Giants have until March 18 to sign Williams to a contract extension.

Looking to get back to his Pro Bowl form, Williams recently sought out the help of former New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Leonard Williams (Brad Penner)
Leonard Williams (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman has steadfastly stood by the most controversial trade of his reign, insisting that sending two draft picks to the Jets for a two-month rental of Leonard Williams was smart because "the juice was worth the squeeze."

The truth, though, is that it remains to be seen just how good the juice actually was. And it all really depends on what happens over the next five weeks. Maybe the juice was worth it for the Giants if they re-sign the 25-year-old Williams to a reasonable contract between now and the start of free agency.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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December 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The last time the Giants had money to burn in free agency, they burned it at an unprecedented clip. They even managed to essentially buy their way into the playoffs, though that 2016 team was famously one-and-done.

The lesson, Giants co-owner John Mara said in a recent interview on WFAN, was "You can fix some holes pretty quickly (with free agency), but long-term I'm not sure that it really works."

In other words, don't expect the Giants to be big spenders when free agency opens on March 18, even though they'll have more than $60 million in salary cap space to spend. With Mara's endorsement, GM Dave Gettleman has taken a draft-centered approach to rebuilding the Giants (mostly). They'll dip into the free agent pool, to be sure, but it won't be a cannonball-type splash.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Now that the Giants have finally conceded they really are rebuilding, new head coach Joe Judge faces what John Mara called "a daunting task." And that's not just because he's a 38-year-old, first-time head coach, either.

It's because the Giants went 9-23 over the last two years and could look very different by the time they hit the field for the start of next season. They do have a few good, young pieces to build around, but the reality is they still have plenty of holes.

To fill them, both Judge and GM Dave Gettleman swear it'll be a "collaborative" effort -- that they'll work together, and that their philosophy on how to build an "old school" team is already perfectly aligned. That remains to be seen, of course. But in case they need any help in getting started, here's a blueprint for them to quickly make the Giants a contender again:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Nate Solder, Ryan Connelly, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It took two months for Giants GM Dave Gettleman to publicly defend his inexplicable trade for Leonard Williams.

Now that he has, it makes even less sense than it did before.

Not that Gettleman was swayed, of course. He stood strongly behind what so far is, unfortunately, his signature deal. Even with hindsight, he had no issue with sending two draft picks to the Jets for a two-month rental of a free-agent-to-be in the midst of a 4-12 season.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Dave Gettleman was well aware of how angry fans were as the walls of the Giants franchise collapsed around him this season. He knew the outside world questioned his decisions. He could feel the heat in his office.

Yet he still refused to come out.

"I was feeling guilty about it," Gettleman said on Tuesday in his first press conference in more than five months. "I felt guilty that Pat (Shurmur) was up there taking the bullets."

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

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.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur essentially arrived together two years ago to help rebuild the Giants. But only one of them is getting a chance to see that rebuilding project through.

While Shurmur was fired by the Giants on Monday morning, Gettleman will not suffer the same fate. Despite rampant speculation that he would be fired or step down, the 68-year-old general manager will remain in his position, the Giants announced, and as SNY reported on Sunday.

"Dave Gettleman is our general manager in 2020 and hopefully for many years after that," Giants co-owner John Mara said in a statement. "We believe he is the right person to lead us going forward."

Tags: Daniel Jones, Leonard Williams, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants will have a ton of salary cap space this offseason to continue rebuilding their roster, but probably not many of their own players to spend it on. They are currently holding 15 players scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in March. Most of them aren't worth keeping.

Here's a look at those players, plus the Giants' three restricted free agents, and a few other players who could be - and perhaps should be - offseason salary cap cuts:

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Antoine Bethea, Cody Latimer, Corey Coleman, Eli Manning, Eli Penny, Golden Tate, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Michael Thomas, Mike Remmers, Russell Shepard, Scott Simonson, Zak DeOssie, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It took until the end of a dismal and disappointing season, but Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley reminded everyone why the Giants' future is bright.

Both players looked as good as they ever have as they put on dazzling displays in the Giants' wild, 41-35 overtime win over the Washington Redskins. Jones, the rookie quarterback who missed the last two games with a sprained ankle, completed 28-of-42 passes for a career-high 352 yards and a career-best five touchdowns. And Barkley, in by far the finest game of his young career, rushed 22 times for 189 yards and caught four passes for 90 yards and scored twice, too.

For Jones, it was his third game of the season with at least four touchdown passes and fourth game with at least four touchdowns overall. And Barkley set his career best with 279 total yards.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Carter, Rhett Ellison, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Giants traded valuable assets for pending free agent Leonard Williams earlier this season with the idea that they would extend him. But Williams recently said that testing the free agent market is "definitely a logical possibility."

While the Giants have an exclusive window with Williams before other teams can negotiate with him, his return is not certain. And he has his eye on a big payday.

"I definitely think I'm a top-tier interior defensive lineman, in that top percentage of the d-linemen," Williams told Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I wouldn't say Aaron Donald [level]. But I would definitely put myself up there with a lot of those other top guys."

Tags: Leonard Williams, Danny Abriano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHILADELPHIA - Eli Manning has built his career on storybook endings. But he couldn't do it one more time.

After 11 weeks of standing on the sidelines watching his successor in his old job, the 38-year-old Manning showed everyone on Monday night that there's still at least a little life left in his right arm - but just not nearly enough to give the Giants a much-needed victory. After a red-hot first half he cooled down considerably in the second.

That opened the door for the Eagles to rally from a 14-point halftime deficit and send the game into overtime. And when Carson Wentz hit Zach Ertz with a two-yard touchdown pass at the end of their first possession, the Eagles had a 23-17 win.

Tags: Darius Slayton, DeAndre Baker, Eli Manning, Julian Love, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Saquon Barkley put a ridiculous spin move on Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara in the second quarter, and then nearly spun out of another tackle on the same play. It was a violent move that sure seemed to prove he wasn't still bothered by his ankle injury.

So if that's not it: What in the world is wrong with Saquon Barkley?

That question has to be asked after he had another low-impact performance in the Giants' ugly, 19-14 loss in Chicago. He gained just 59 yards on 17 carries - 22 of which came on one fourth quarter run. Coupled with his disaster against the Jets (13 carries, one yard) he now has just 60 rushing yards on 30 carries in the last two games.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, Julian Love, Leonard Williams, Nate Solder, Prince Amukamara, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Zak DeOssie, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The saddest thing about the current state of the Jets is that this was supposed to be the year they arrived. After nine years of waiting for a playoff game, after enduring three years of rebuilding under ex-GM Mike Maccagnan, it was all supposed to come together in 2019.

Not only didn't that happen, but now the Jets appear to be on the brink of a rebuilding project again.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Avery Williamson, Chris Herndon, Christian Hackenberg, CJ Mosley, Jachai Polite, Jamal Adams, Jamison Crowder, Jonotthon Harrison, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa, Quinnen Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants haven't led the NFL in much recently, but they had a big lead in one category through the end of October. No team played rookies more often than they did. And they led in that category by about 500 total snaps.

That only counted rookies, like quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Oshane Ximines and corners Corey Ballentine and DeAndre Baker. It didn't count all their second-year pros like guard Will Hernandez, running back Saquon Barkley, defensive end B.J. Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and cornerbacks Grant Haley and now Sam Beal.

The point is, the Giants are young. Very, very young. And that might be the biggest reason to be optimistic about their future, and to believe that GM Dave Gettleman could have them on the right path.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams has been a Giant for just over a week, but he's already getting set to face his former squad.

The former sixth overall pick of the Jets in the 2015 draft will suit up for his second game as a member of Big Blue on Sunday, with his former Jets teammates and coaches on the other sideline.

Speaking to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, Williams explained that he's feeling more excitement than anything else when it comes to playing his former team.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets are a combined 3-14, one year after going a combined 9-23, one year after going a combined 8-24. That's a 20-61 record over the last 2 ½ seasons, for a "winning" percentage of .246.

So no, the Giants and Jets don't match up particularly well with the rest of the professional football world right now. But how do they match up with each other?

In advance of their big showdown on Sunday at the Meadowlands, let's take a look:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Avery Williamson, B.J. Hill, Chris Herndon, Cody Latimer, Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Lorenzo Carter, Marcus Maye, Rhett Ellison, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets are a combined 3-14, one year after going a combined 9-23, one year after going a combined 8-24. That's a 20-61 record over the last 2 ½ seasons, for a "winning" percentage of .246.

So no, the Giants and Jets don't match up particularly well with the rest of the professional football world right now. But how do they match up with each other?

In advance of their big showdown on Sunday at the Meadowlands, let's take a look:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Avery Williamson, B.J. Hill, Chris Herndon, Cody Latimer, Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Lorenzo Carter, Marcus Maye, Rhett Ellison, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams will make his Giants debut on the biggest of stages: a Monday Night Football game against the team's biggest rival in the Dallas Cowboys. 

The Giants, who gave up a third-round pick and fifth-rounder (can turn into a fourth if they extend him), are hoping to find some untapped potential in the 25-year-old Williams. That's exactly why GM Dave Gettleman sparked a trade with the Jets, and they're optimistic enough to reportedly begin contract extension talks before Thanksgiving. 

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Williams obviously wants to start this next chapter in his career on a high note, and to get on Giants fans' good side, there's no better matchup for him than the one he'll see Monday night. 

Tags: Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

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

Tags: Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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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."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While the rumored total firesale never materialized on trade deadline day, the Jets made one move, dealing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Giants for two 2020 picks. Let's consider how they might look to replace his contributions within the defense.

Williams' statistical production has been widely criticized this season. Through seven games, he had just eight solo tackles with no sacks or tackles for loss. However, the Jets coaches had repeatedly praised his disruptiveness and given him credit for contributing to some of their successes on the defensive side of the ball. Of course, this may have been an effort to keep his trade value up, though.

Although the Jets lost six of their first seven before dealing Williams, they've quietly played at a high level against the run, holding their opponents to just 3.3 yards per carry; the second-lowest mark in the NFL. With Williams penetrating, occupying blockers and taking on double-teams, other players have been able to make plays. However, as we wrote in the run-up to the deadline, Williams wasn't being paid over $14 million this season just to occupy blocks.

Tags: Folorunso Fatukasi, Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon
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Oct 27, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) calls out a play to his team during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 27, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) calls out a play to his team during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After the NFL trade deadline came and went Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, the Giants' move -- or lack thereof -- showed that the team has not given up on the 2019 campaign.

As the Giants (2-6) enter the second half of the regular season's slate -- starting Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, against the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (4-3) -- they do so with their roster seemingly rejuvenated.

The Giants traded Tuesday for Jets fifth-year defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who hit the ground running with the team Wednesday, looking to bolster the trenches and patch up an area of needed improvement on a struggling defense.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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The Giants didn't trade for Leonard Williams to not sign him.

That was the answer head coach Pat Shurmur had, to a degree, Wednesday when asked about the Giants' latest move.

After the Giants traded for the Jets' fifth-year defensive lineman Tuesday, Shurmur looked forward to getting Williams involved for the second half of the 2019 season, with the future in mind as well.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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