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.
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).
–Field Level Media