Defensive end Leonard Williams will be back with the Giants in 2020. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants surprised most by trading for Leonard Williams at last year’s deadline, and the team will not let the former top-10 pick hit free agency. Big Blue is expected to use its franchise tag on Williams, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

While this qualifies as one of the more interesting tag decisions in recent years, this will allow the Giants to minimize the trade haul they will send to the Jets. The Giants only have to deal third- and fourth-round picks to the Jets if they extend Williams by the start of the new league year. A Giants franchise tag, instead, means Gang Green will only receive third- and fifth-rounders, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY confirms (via Twitter).

Williams has a Pro Bowl on his résumé, but the 2015 No. 6 overall pick has not lived up to expectations. He registered merely a half-sack in 2019 and posted just two tackles for loss in his season with both New York teams. This move will cost the Giants around $19M.

A Williams tag also may impact the Giants’ prospects at landing one of the top non-tagged outside linebackers on the market. They are rumored to be interested in Jadeveon Clowney but reportedly not willing to authorize a top-market contract for the former No. 1 overall pick.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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