Leonard Williams is embarking on a new journey in his football career, marking his second transfer. This time, he’s set to bolster a youthful and ambitious defense out in the western regions.
The New York Giants are in the final stages of arranging a transaction that will see Williams don the Seattle Seahawks jersey. This development was disclosed by NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo, and Tom Pelissero in a Monday report. In return for the services of the defensive lineman, New York is set to receive a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick.
Subsequently, the New York Giants officially confirmed the trade.
Additionally, Pelissero noted that the contract restructuring for Williams, which is a component of this trade, was the sole such adjustment reported across the league on Monday. This essentially means that no other trades conducted before the upcoming Tuesday trade deadline can involve teams altering the terms of an existing contract.
For Leonard Williams, adapting to new teams near the trade deadline is becoming somewhat of a recurring theme. Four years ago, the New York Jets traded him to the Giants just as the trade deadline was looming, in exchange for third- and fifth-round picks. This transaction took place during a contract year for the USC product. The Giants later employed the franchise tag on Williams for the 2020 season and subsequently inked him to a substantial three-year, $63 million extension a year later. This extension was one of several high-value decisions made by the former general manager, Dave Gettleman, with little consideration for the team’s long-term financial prospects.
Now, Leonard Williams is headed westward, with the primary goal of affording the New York Giants some much-needed financial breathing room. In return for the improved draft compensation, New York will assume a significant portion of Williams’ existing contract. This arrangement is an improvement over what the Jets received when they traded Williams in 2019. Although, when viewed in totality, this may seem like a marginally advantageous trade-off, considering New York’s financial limitations over the past two years, any relief from a contract that carried a burdensome $32.26 million cap hit in 2023 is indeed a significant relief.