New York Giants place franchise tag on defensive linemen Leonard Williams

Sep 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) throws a pass while pressured by New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) during the first quarter of a NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams for the second straight season, multiple outlets reported before Tuesday’s deadline.

Williams, 26, led the team with a career-high 11.5 sacks and 30 quarterback hits in 2020.

He earned $16.126 million on the franchise tag last season. A second tag for 2021 would cost 120 percent of last year’s number, or $19.351 million.

The parties are said to be working toward a long-term deal, with the franchise tag providing more time to negotiate this offseason without Williams becoming a free agent.

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ESPN reported that Williams has an unresolved grievance with the NFL Players Association about whether he should be listed as a defensive end or tackle. If it’s the former, his 2020 franchise tag value should have been $17.8 million and his second tag in 2021 would be worth $21.4 million.

Williams played in all 16 games (12 starts) in his first full season with the Giants, contributing 57 tackles (14 for loss) with one fumble recovery.

Drafted No. 6 overall in 2015 by the New York Jets, Williams made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was traded to the Giants on Oct. 29, 2019 for a 2020 third-round pick and a conditional 2021 fifth-rounder.

He has 29 career sacks and 131 quarterback hits in 95 games (87 starts).

Related: If you’re a fan of the Giants, check out #TogetherBlue rumors, rankings, and news here.

–Field Level Media