New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman defends Leonard Williams trade

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 01: Leonard Williams #99 of the New York Giants reacts in the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on December 01, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.The Green Bay Packers defeated the New York Giants 31-13.

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman defends his decision to trade for Leonard Williams prior to October’s deadline.

Back in October, the New York Giants decided to increase the depth of their defensive line prior to the trade deadline. They ultimately sent a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick to the New York Jets for veteran Leonard Williams. Why was this such a questionable move?

Well, there are a few reasons. For one, you shouldn’t give away future draft picks when you’re a rebuilding franchise, especially to a crosstown rival. Yes, whether fans like it or not, the Giants are indeed rebuilding. Williams’ contract is also expiring. If they don’t re-sign him, then he was essentially just a rental and a waste, considering Big Blue wasn’t a contender. If they do re-sign him, it will most likely cost the organization a great deal of cap space for a player that doesn’t exactly deserve it.

Despite many fans scratching their heads over the move, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is defending it.

“The thought process was I really believe that, as much as the style of play evolves, there are three basic truths — you have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, you have to rush the passer,” Gettleman said, per Garrett Stepien of SNY. “If you’re seriously deficient in any of those three areas, it makes it tough — it’s going to be tough sledding.

“But bringing in Leonard, obviously, we evaluated the film. By bringing him in, we felt he could be a disruptive force inside — and he has been, he has been. … At the end of the day, we felt good about him. He did what we wanted him to do and he wants to be here. … Now we know what we have and we’re willing to [re-sign Williams]. We felt we needed him. We felt good about him and we feel the improvement — he’s disruptive in there. He improved our rushing defense in there and he buzzes around like a linebacker.

“We’re just getting finished now, but we felt like the bottom line is we felt it was worth the deal. The juice was worth the squeeze.”

If the Giants sign Williams to an extension, that fifth-round pick they gave up becomes a fourth-round pick. Therefore, that’s another downside to the overall trade deal.

In eight games with the Giants (five starts), Williams racked up 26 combined tackles, two tackles-for-loss, 11 quarterback hits, .5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

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