Dave Gettleman continues to ruin the Giants. Franchising Leonard Williams is another sign he doesn’t have a clue how to construct a modern NFL roster.
The Giants took a lot of heat for giving up multiple draft picks to acquire Leonard Williams last season. Their subsequent decision to slap the franchise tag on the defensive tackle only takes the team’s decision-making process from bad to worse.
The move will require New York to pay Williams more than $16 million next season if they’re unable to get the player to agree to a long-term extension. Indications are that the organization would prefer to lock Williams up for the long haul. That might decrease the amount of money he’ll make in 2020, but it could do even more damage to the team’s salary over the long haul.
No matter what ultimately happens with Williams’ deal, this is a clear example of front office malpractice by GM Dave Gettleman. Giants fans are familiar with his ineptitude by now. Selecting a running back with the No. 2 pick in the draft is one of his recent highlights with the franchise. Gettleman operates his team as if the NFL is still stuck in the mid-90s.
Things might be evaluated differently if Williams were a good player. Despite being a former high draft pick he’s been a below average starter during his NFL career. Pro Football Focus grades him out a very mediocre mark of 70.6 in his 27 regular season games.
His inability to make plays in the opposing backfield is a big reason for his poor performance. Williams came into the league with a reputation as a pass rusher. He’s only managed to get to the quarterback three times in his career. Making plays into the backfield isn’t a requirement for a good defensive tackle, but Williams isn’t so dominant against the run to make up for his lack of time in the opposing backfield.
Expect Gettleman to tout this move as a big win for the Giants. Savvy fans should see through his media tour on the subject. Franchising Williams is a desperate attempt for him to save face after giving up valuable draft capital in the deal to acquire the defensive tackle. The reality is this is just another weak move by a general manager who’s out of his depth.
The sooner New York’s ownership realizes that Gettleman isn’t the right man for the job the sooner they’ll have a chance to return to the playoffs.