We have an intra-stadium trade.
The New York Giants have acquired defensive end Leonard Williams from their co-MetLife Stadium tenants, the New York Jets, for a 2020 third-round draft pick and a 2021 fifth-round draft pick, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Jets will also be paying $4 million of the $6 million owed to Williams this season.
It’s the first time ever that the two teams have executed a trade together.
Williams will be a free agent following this season, but the Giants’ decision to acquire him amidst a 2-6 season suggests that they fully intend to get an extension done.
The 25-year-old was selected sixth overall in the 2015 draft out of USC where he’s built a rather inconsistent career resume in the NFL.
While he’s yet to miss a game, appearing in all 71 games over the past four-plus seasons, Williams’ sack totals have taken a nosedive over the past three years.
After putting up seven sacks in his second year in the league (2016), Williams has a combined seven sacks over his last 39 games — including zero through seven this season. Those inconsistencies saw him quickly fall out of favor with the Jets, especially on a defense that ranks 20th in the NFL in 2019.
Since his introduction into the pros in 2015, however, Williams still ranks 10th amongst all defensive ends in the NFL with 90 quarterback hits while his 240 combined tackles ranks fifth.
For the Jets, it provides further draft capital as general manager Joe Douglas starts a new rebuild to carry the Jets out of the Mike Maccagnan era.
For the Giants, they will be hoping that Williams can add a legitimate edge-rushing presence to justify paying such a heavy price for the struggling defensive end. It’s worth noting that last season, the Giants traded Damon Harrison — one of the top run-stopping defensive linemen in the game — to the Detroit Lions for just a fifth-round pick.
General manager Dave Gettleman has committed plenty of resources into the defensive line during his tenure with the Giants. He spent a third-round pick on BJ Hill in 2018 and a first-rounder on Dexter Lawrence this April.
The duo has combined for two of the Giants’ 22 sacks through eight games this season (Lawrence has both).