It may take a while.
Unless mandatory NFL deadlines change, the Giants have until July 15 to strike a long-term agreement with defensive tackle Leonard Williams. Otherwise, he plays on a $ 16.1 million one-year franchise tag, which is not a scenario that either side wants.
There is absolutely no incentive for Williams to do anything right now, and the Giants, who know the tested truth that the deadlines are urgently urging, are willing to wait for things with Williams this summer.
Nothing that happened around Williams, to this point, surprised the Giants. His agent, Roosevelt Barnes, the president of the football department at Independent Sports & Entertainment, is often willing to let situations play out in the meantime. So, the Giants did not foresee a quick and easy signing, despite general manager Dave Gettleman saying that Williams expressed to him that he is happy with the Giants and wants to stay.
Williams, acquired Oct. 28 in a deal with the Jets, sent out mixed messages throughout the season. He said he preferred to stay in the area and then expressed his desire to test his value in the market. He also said he wants to go somewhere he can win.
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For most years, there is no rush for any player to sign the franchise tag because it removes any leverage from the player. Dissatisfaction with the tag and the desire for a lucrative long-term commitment lead to players staying away from their teams, as they may not be available at the facility until they sign the tag. This often creates an undesirable situation – the team that goes with their off-season workout program and minicamp with the tagged player absent. Out of sight but not in mind.
This is clearly not the case most years. There will be no revelation of a normal NFL season. The Giants, based on having a new head coach, would cancel their off-season program April 6, a full two weeks earlier than the team with returning head coach. These dates are now meaningless when it comes to on-site player collections. Williams will not lack any bond or camaraderie that is usually included in these off-season seasons, as there will be no normal sessions. The leverage that an agent has – my guy doesn’t show up – is not applicable this year.
Working to Williams’ advantage is that referee and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham portrays Williams as part of the solution, this season and beyond. Although he is already a five-year NFL veteran, Williams is so young (he turns 26 on June 20) that he can definitely be part of the middle-aged (in NFL terms) core defense that now includes free agent additions James Bradberry and Blake Martinez, both 26.
Judge and Graham are about players offering multiple options, and Williams offers this to the Giants, regardless of whether Graham leans heavier on a four-man or three-man defensive front.
Playing 2020 for $ 16.1 million is not debilitating for Williams. Any new deal that strikes with the Giants isn’t likely to total $ 16 million a year, so if he plays for this season, “now they have set a precedent for what the new floor is,” an NFL player agent told The Post. If Williams plays for $ 16.1 million, that’s what he’s worth according to the market, and that could be a starting point in any new negotiation process. Getting him signed before this season would not cost that much on an average per year.
“The Giants don’t have to do anything,” the agent said. “They will pay him a very fair salary, and he will play under it and they will go through it. The cap will go up, and if they love him and they have to pay more, they will. is always a good situation for the player in the long run, if they are really good and they are not damaged.
“He’ll get a really solid deal if they keep him after that or if he’ll go out on the market to know that the Giants valued him at $ 16 million. If he gets $ 10 million [average] That would still be $ 26 million in guaranteed money in two years. ”
Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned, and his affair, as it arises, can affect how Williams views his value. Ndamukong Suh returns to the Buccaneers for a reported $ 8 million for the 2020 season.
Williams may take a defiant stance and insist he won’t play on the tag – but for $ 16 million and the chance to hit the market at age 26, why would he do that? That would complicate matters. The Giants prefer to have something done in the long run, but realize that it probably won’t be fixed soon.