Did the Giants make a mistake in re-signing in Leonard Williams?
With every move that an NFL team makes, there are always people out there that hate it. Well that can certainly be said about the New York Giants re-signing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to a three-year, $63 million contract.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN trashed the Giants re-signing Williams. Below is a portion of what he wrote.
We should have known this one was coming. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman made a totally unexpected trade to acquire Williams from the Jets in 2019, months before Williams would have become a free agent. After an anonymous half-season, the Giants then franchised him before the 2020 campaign. He responded with the best year of his career, racking up 11.5 sacks to go with 30 knockdowns. Having made his general manager look like a genius, Williams has been rewarded with $45 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. If the Giants thought he was worth a franchise tag after a half-sack in eight starts, it makes sense that they would give him a massive deal after a breakout year.
To put Williams’ deal in context, the list of defensive linemen who top $63 million over the first three years of their deal isn’t long, as Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, DeMarcus Lawrence, Frank Clark and Aaron Donald are the only guys who qualify. They each had more impressive track records before their respective deals than Williams. Sacks don’t tell the whole story, and he has always had impressive knockdown totals, but this is a player who averaged 3.5 sacks per season before his 11.5-sack total in 2020.
You can also say that Bud Dupree doesn’t deserve the money that he got from the Tennessee Titans either because he didn’t put up a ton of sacks each and every season. You can also argue that T.J. Watt’s play in Pittsburgh is why he was able to play as well as he did. But Barnwell doesn’t have him on his list of bad signings.
The thing many people don’t realize is that the media has their own biases and it’s clear that Barnwell isn’t a fan of Williams.
At the end of the day, no matter who the player is, free agent signings are never a sure thing to work out.
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