Leonard Williams is about to get paid
Even though the New York Giants placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams this past week, the expectation is that they will be able to get an extension done.
Now the thing is, the Giants really have to get an extension done because they can’t afford to pay Williams’ over $19 million in guaranteed money in 2021 and also improve their roster in free agency. So if New York does get a deal done with Williams, how much will they have to pay him?
Former sports agent and current CBS Sports writer Joel Corry wrote an article stating just how much he thinks Williams will get in his next contract. Here’s what he wrote:
Contract package: $86 million, four years ($21.5 million per year)
Overall guarantees: $65 million
Fully guaranteed at signing: $45 million
Williams validated general manager Dave Gettleman’s belief in him last season when use of a $16.126 million franchise tag a year ago was viewed as a curious decision. The 2015 sixth-overall pick finally lived up to his draft potential by having his best season as a pro in 2020. Williams had a career-high 11.5 sacks, which was seventh in the NFL and the second most for an interior defensive lineman. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice during the 2020 season. Nobody else earned this honor multiple times in 2020.
The Giants placed a second franchise tag on Williams for $19,351,200 to buy more time on a working out a multiyear contract. Williams likely views the DeForest Buckner and Chris Jones deals as benchmarks to surpass after a career year. The Colts gave Buckner a four-year, $84 million contract extension averaging $21 million per year with $56.378 million in guarantees after acquiring him from the 49ers last March. Jones, who was also a 2020 franchise tag recipient, signed a four-year, $80 million contract containing $60 million in guarantees (worth up to $85 million through incentives) with the Chiefs right before the July 15 deadline for franchise players to sign long-term deals.
Even if the Giants agree with pay Williams over $20 million a year, they can work things out in a way to give themselves some cap relief this year with the NFL salary cap being so low due to the NFL losing money in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next few weeks are going to be very interesting to say the least.
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