Leonard Williams to play out franchise tag with Giants

The Leonard Williams experiment in New York -- the Giants' side of the market -- remains incomplete, and that isn't set to change any time soon.

The Giants and the defensive end are on the same page in regards to Wednesday's long-term contract deadline for franchised players, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who reported the plan is for Williams to play out the one-year tag before deciding on his future. The hope is Williams excels in New York's new defensive system headed by defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

The Williams situation isn't a typical case of a team franchise tagging a player simply to get a better idea of whether it's worth inking him to a long-term deal. New York has additional resources already involved, having sent the Jets two draft picks in exchange for Williams in late October 2019. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman fielded plenty of questions regarding Williams in March ahead of the start of free agency when the team faced the possibility of seeing Williams walk after just eight games with the team, but New York prevented such a scenario by tagging the former first-round selection.

Now comes time for Williams to prove he's worth a long-term deal. The No. 6 overall pick of the 2015 draft has yet to live up to that draft position, making one Pro Bowl (2016) but recording a career-low mark in sacks with just one half of a quarterback takedown while splitting his season between the Jets and Giants in 2019.

Understandably placed in a disadvantageous situation last year, Williams will now get a chance to learn a system before spending a full season operating in it. We'll see whether Gettleman is again on the podium discussing Williams positively -- or lamenting his departure -- in 2021.

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