Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 10-28-19

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
It is historic, this first-ever trade between the Giants and Jets (although a deal was agreed to in 1983 before it was called off at the last minute).

That almost-trade involved the Jets sending a draft pick to the Giants for a center named Chris Foote, but the deal was nullified less than a week later.

But this one counts. The Giants acquired defensive end Leonard Williams from the Jets in exchange for a third-round draft choice in 2020 and a fifth in 2021. Included in the details is this: The Jets will pay $4 million of Williams' remaining $6 million salary this season.

Another tidbit: If the Giants sign Williams to a contract extension BEFORE the start of the 2021 league year, that fifth-round pick in 2021 will become a fourth-round selection.

Williams, 6-5 and 302, was the Jets' first-round draft choice (sixth player overall) in 2015, is currently playing in his fifth NFL season via a one-year contract extension and attended USC. It should be noted that 2015 was the year the Giants picked offensive tackle Ereck Flowers in the first round (ninth overall), who became a monumental disappointment.

The addition of Williams continues general manager Dave Gettleman's investment in the Giants' defensive line. Since becoming the GM, he has added Williams, Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick this year and B.J. Hill in the third round the previous year. The Giants also have Dalvin Tomlinson, R.J. McIntosh, B.J. Hill and Olsen Pierre on their interior defensive line.

Hill, Tomlinson and Lawrence (a rookie) are the current starters in the 3-4 alignment, and to make room for Williams to start, assuming that's how defensive coach James Bettcher decides, the player most likely to hit the bench would be Hill, although Williams might need a week or two to learn the new system.

The former Jet will play in the same stadium and reduce his driving time to practice (the Jets practice in Whippany, N.J., while the Giants use the practice field adjacent to MetLife Stadium.

The Giants did not announce the player to be waived in order to make room for Williams, although with a 2-6 record there are any number of fringe players.

The Giants' interior line has managed just six sacks in the first half of this season. While not a lights-out pass-rusher, Williams instantly becomes one of the Giants' best threats on the interior. Williams hasn't missed a game in four-plus seasons, but he hasn't produced as a pass-rusher. He has 17 career sacks, including only two in the past 18 games.

Williams took a shoulder-shrug approach to the trade. He said he wanted to remain with the Jets and that he was comfortable in New York, but he also said, "What's cool about it is that, for me, it's not this or the streets. Either I'm playing for the Jets or I'm playing somewhere else. At the end of the day, I'm still going to be playing. I feel like I have a lot of years left in my career."

It is obvious that the Giants will want to re-sign Williams, feeling his rookie scouting reports that called him "one of the best pass-rushers in college" is still accurate and perhaps all he needs is a change of scenery.

EXTRA POINTS The Giants held a private meeting Monday at MetLife Stadium, with only the players invited to attend no coaches or front office administrators. "I think it went well," said linebacker Alec Ogletree, one of the organizers. "We have lost four straight games and that is not acceptable. You know, it's only us [the players] who go out there for our games, so it should be up to us to fix things."

The Giants lost to Detroit Sunday, 31-26, their fourth consecutive defeat and one that dropped their record to 2-6. The defense, especially the secondary, was virtually non-existent, and the offense was lackluster at best.

"We know we can move the ball," rookie quarterback Daniel Jones said. "We know we can score points. We just don't do enough of it. Like a lot of these games, we haven't done enough to make the big time plays in big moments. We know we're capable. We know we can do it, it's just a matter of doing it more consistently and in big moments in the game. As far as what we can take from it, just to realize that we have to do it and do it when it matters the most and do it consistently the whole game."

The Giants will play the Dallas Cowboys Monday night in MetLife Stadium, perhaps their last chance to salvage something from this season.

Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
- Team Giants

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