Report: Jets Trade Leonard Williams To Giants

Ryan Chatelain
October 28, 2019 - 10:58 pm

The fact that the Jets reportedly traded away defensive lineman Leonard Williams on Monday wasn't exactly surprising, but the recipient was.

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Gang Green is dealing the former first-round pick to the Giants of all teams in exchange for a third-round selection in 2020 and a fifth-round choice in 2021, ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported. The fifth-round pick will become a fourth-rounder if Williams signs a contract extension with the Giants before the start of the league year, Schefter reported.

The 25-year-old Williams is earning $14.2 million this year and is set to become a free agent after the season. The Jets will pay $4 million of his remaining salary, ESPN reported.

It's the first trade between the New York teams since 1983, when the Giants dealt offensive lineman Chris Foote to the Jets for a conditional draft pick, according to 

The Jets drafted Williams with the sixth overall pick in 2015, but the 6-foot-5, 302-pound defensive lineman never lived up to the hype that accompanied him coming out of Southern California.

Leonard Williams
Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Images

Williams has registered just 17 sacks over 4½ seasons. He has no sacks and 20 tackles this season. Williams' best year came in 2016, when he had seven sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

Williams thanked the Jets in an Instagram post Monday night and said he looked forward to joining the Giants.

"It's been a pleasure playing here over the last few years through all the ups and downs and will never forget the memories and experiences shared with my teammates and coaches!" Williams wrote. "Now moving onto the next chapter of my life I want to thank the @nygiants for giving me the opportunity to continue my professional career in the big apple."

The NFL's trade deadline is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and both the Jets (1-6) and Giants (2-6) seem to fit the profile of sellers, which makes the Giants' role in the trade somewhat puzzling. If they are unable to re-sign Williams, the deal will be certain to draw criticism.

The Giants are ranked 28th in the NFL in total defense, 27th in scoring defense, 22nd against the run and 25th against the pass.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the trade was the first ever between the Giants and Jets.