When Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman was asked about holding onto defensive tackle Leonard Williams at the Scouting Combine, he said he knew he would be “killed” if he let Williams walk after trading third- and fifth-round picks to the Jets to acquire him last season.
Gettleman ensured he wouldn’t be raked over the coals for that decision when he used the franchise tag on Williams last month. The decision sets Williams up to make just over $16.1 million, which led to questions for Williams about going that route rather than use the cheaper transition tag or seeing what kind of market developed for Williams on the open market.
“Really what it came down to was we felt good about our cap space,” Gettleman said on a Monday conference call, via the team’s website. “We felt for what Leonard brings to the table and for our team, it was more prudent to put the franchise tag on him.”
Williams hasn’t signed the tag and Gettleman didn’t offer much thought about the possibility of signing him to a long-term deal ahead of July 15, but he did say that “part of the tight rope that I walk on is short-term and long-term” while noting that several other players will be in line for new deals in the next couple of years.