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DT Leonard Williams signs franchise tag

LEONARD-WILLIAMS

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants announced today that defensive tackle Leonard Williams signed his non-exclusive franchise tag. Williams received the tag from the team on March 16.

By signing the tag, Williams is now under contract for the 2020 season at the salary assured by the tag, which is based on the average of the top five salaries from his position. He is no longer free to speak with other teams. The Giants and Williams can negotiate a long-term contract.

Had Williams signed a contract with another team instead of the tag, the Giants would have received two first round draft choices as compensation. Williams was the first Giants player to receive a tag since another defensive lineman, Jason Pierre-Paul, in 2015.

The Giants acquired Williams, a former first-round draft choice, on Oct. 29, 2019 from the Jets for two draft choices – a third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, and a fifth-round choice in 2021.

Williams, 6-5 and 302 pounds, is a disruptive defender against both the run and pass. He played in eight games with five starts for the Giants and had 26 tackles (13 solo), a half-sack, two tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits, two passes defended and a forced fumble.

Williams had a season-high five tackles in the Jets' season opener vs. Buffalo and in each of the Giants' games against Philadelphia, including a season-best five solo stops in Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 9.

The sixth overall selection in the 2015 draft, from USC, Williams has played in 79 career games with 75 starts. His career totals include 266 tackles (136 solo), 17.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes defended.

Williams, 25, teams with 2017 second-round draft choice Dalvin Tomlinson, 2018 third-round selection B.J. Hill and 2019 first-rounder Dexter Lawrence to give the Giants a talented quartet of young defensive linemen.

View photos of defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

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