Report: Leonard Williams Plans to Play on Giants Franchise Tag Ahead of Deadline

Report: Leonard Williams Plans to Play on Giants Franchise Tag Ahead of Deadline
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New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) celebrates in the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The New York Giants and defensive lineman Leonard Williams reportedly will not reach a long-term contract extension by Wednesday’s deadline, meaning he will play out the 2020 season under the franchise tag.  

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Giants and Williams are “on the same page” with the plan. 

The 26-year-old will make $16.1 million with the tag.

It had long been expected that Williams and the Giants would not reach a long-term agreement. The two sides did not appear to make much progress in negotiations as the offseason unfolded, and there is some level of benefit to both sides in playing things out this season.

Williams has been inconsistent throughout his NFL career and was having arguably his worst season when the Giants traded for him last year. He finished with 46 tackles and a career-low 0.5 sacks in 2019, per Pro Football Focus.

In December, the USC product said he wanted to get paid like one of the best defensive linemen in football.

“I definitely think I’m a top-tier interior defensive lineman, in that top percentage of the D-linemen,” Williams said, per Daryl Slater of NJ Advance Media. “I wouldn’t say Aaron Donald [level]. But I would definitely put myself up there with a lot of those other top guys.”

The Giants will gladly pay him that money if Williams proves his worth on the field. However, given his inconsistency, it’s probably best to play this out on a one-year deal and reward him if he blossoms into a star.