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Giants not close to extension with DL Leonard Williams

With the franchise tag deadline coming Thursday, several teams will be making crucial decisions this week.

One of those teams pondering using the tag is the New York Giants, who could place the franchise tender on defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Williams and the Giants are not close on a contract extension, per sources informed of the situation. Rapoport added that the tag is a possibility for Williams, but New York could also let him hit the market.

Big Blue acquired Williams in a trade-deadline deal with the New York Jets in exchange for a third-round pick and a conditional 2021 fifth-rounder that becomes a fourth if the Giants re-sign Williams before the start of the new league year.

The conditional aspect of the trade could play into the Giants' decision with Williams this week.

In eight games with Big Blue in 2019, Williams compiled 26 tackles, half a sack and two passes defended.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman frequently defended his decision to trade for a player set to be a free agent, noting the team wanted to get an up-close look at the player once in the building. With a new coach Joe Judge in New York, it's unclear how Williams might fit in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham's system.

Rapoport noted that Williams is expected to have a strong market. The franchise tag could be a mechanism for keeping the former first-round pick in New York if the Giants want an extended look without a long-term commitment.

The deadline for teams to use the franchise tag is Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.

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