NFL

Giants sign Leonard Williams to $63m contract

By Sports Desk March 16, 2021

As it turns out, Leonard Williams will be with the New York Giants for more than just the 2021 season. 

A week after the Giants placed the franchise tag on Williams, the two sides agreed to a three-year, $63 million contract on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The deal reportedly includes $45m fully guaranteed. 

A long-term deal was reportedly being worked on between the two sides after the Giants placed the non-exclusive tag on him last Tuesday. 

New York also placed the tag on him prior to the 2020 season and Williams played his way into a big pay day. The durable defensive tackle, who has missed just one game in his six-year career, ranked seventh in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, third with 30 quarterback hits and tied for sixth with 14 tackles for loss. 

The 2020 season marked Williams' first full season with the Giants after he was traded from the Jets midway through the 2019 season for a third and a fifth-round draft pick. 

Williams was the sixth overall pick of the 2015 draft by the Jets and it looked an astute selection after he made the Pro Bowl in his second season with seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

The next two seasons, however, Williams was a non-factor, finishing with seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2017 and 2018 combined. And after seven games without a sack and two tackles for loss in 2019, he was shipped to MetLife Stadium's other home tenant. 

He flourished last season in leading one of the NFL's most improved defenses while racking up the most sacks by a Giant since Jason Pierre-Paul had 12.5 in 2014. 

New York allowed an average of 22.3 points last season after giving up an average of 28.2 in 2019, and that decrease of 5.9 fewer points allowed per game was tied with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the third-best improvement in the league. 

The Giants went 6-10 last season but narrowly missed making the playoffs while playing in the dreadful NFC East won by the 7-9 Washington Football Team. 

They have not made the playoffs since 2016, and are without a playoff win since beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl after the 2011 season. 

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