The Giants did not trade for Leonard Williams to let him walk.
That was the thinking back on Oct. 28 when they made the controversial deal with the Jets and that is the thinking now. The Giants will place the franchise tag on Williams, The Post confirmed, and have every intention of signing him to a long-term deal to become a fixture at defensive tackle.
The deadline to tag players is 11:59 a.m. Monday as the NFL starts up business for the 2020 season.
The franchise carries a salary cap hit and salary for Williams of $16.1 million. The Giants have no intention of having Williams play out the season on that one-year deal. They can significantly lower the cap hit by coming to an agreement with Williams on a long-term deal that likely would be in the range of $10 million to $12 million a year.
There was no way the Giants were going to allow Williams to head into free agency and hit the open market. Not after sending a 2020 third-round draft pick and what will be a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Jets for a player who is a polarizing figure. Williams is only 25 and incredibly durable, having played in 79 of a possible 80 games for the Jets and now Giants the past five seasons. In that time, though, Williams has only 17.5 career sacks and, while disruptive at times, is not the finisher he was expected to be when the Jets made him the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Giants opted not to use the transition tag on Williams, which would have been cheaper ($13.1 million) and allowed the Giants to match any offer Williams received on the open market.
Williams played eight games for the Giants and managed to get only one-half sack. He did lead the team in quarterback pressures and is a very solid run-stopper.
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