Leonard Williams is not a happy camper. The veteran pass rusher initially made it known early in the offseason that while he was open to remaining with the New York Giants, , and was just as open to taking his talents elsewhere in 2020 free agency. The Giants, who gave a 2020 third-rounder and a 2021 fifth-rounder to acquire him from the New York Jets, would have none of it though, and when no agreement on a long-term deal was reached.
and that guarantees he'll take the field this coming season for the Giants, but all is far from well between the two sides. With the team designating him as a defensive tackle, he's set to earn $16.1 million under the tag, assuming no deal is struck before July 15.
The problem in Williams' eyes is he views himself as a defensive end, and had the Giants agreed, he would've landed a $17.8 million salary instead. Williams has now reportedly filed a grievance with the NFLPA, with the obvious goal of forcing a designation change, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. It's the latest chapter in an ongoing saga between Williams and the Giants, which includes many questioning the decision by general manager Dave Gettleman to trade for him in the first place, given the fact the club had more pressing needs at the time.
Williams showed great promise in his time with the Jets, having registered a career-high seven sacks in his second season and logging another five sacks in 2018, but the 2019 season showed a step back in his production. He split time with both New York teams and mustered only half a sack in 15 games, a career-low by a sizable margin. Gettleman has made it clear he'd like to keep Williams for the long haul but is also comfortable letting him play under the franchise tag in 2020.
If Williams is to do the latter, he wants to be paid like an edge rusher and not a guy who simply stops the run.