Giants trade DL Leonard Williams to Seahawks for two picks

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The New York Giants traded defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawkson Monday in exchange for a pair of draft picks.

In exchange for Williams, the Seahawks sent a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round selection to the Giants.

The Giants are taking on most of the $10 million owed to Williams, sources told ESPN. The Seahawks will owe Williams about $647,000 for the remainder of the season, which is the prorated amount of the veteran minimum base salary of $1.165 million. Williams had $10 million remaining on his $18 million base salary for 2023, which the teams agreed to lower to the vet minimum as part of the trade, per sources. The Giants paid Williams the balance in the form of a signing bonus.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Williams took to Instagram to say "it's been an honor" to be part of the Giants organization and to express his excitement at joining the Seahawks.

The trade comes a day after the Giants lost in overtime to the New York Jets to fall to 2-6, last place in the NFC East. The Seahawks, who defeated the Cleveland Browns to improve to 5-2, lead the NFC West.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll noted that the trade won't be finalized until Williams arrives at team headquarters and passes a physical Tuesday. But when asked what he liked about Williams, Carroll said, "Oh man, everything, everything," and noted that he has kept a close eye on Williams throughout his career because of their USC connection.

"We've watched him for a long time and have known him for a good while, a Trojan and all that," Carroll said. "He's a fantastic football player. He's the kind of guy that can make a difference in games. He's really a nice player."

Carroll called Williams the type of player who can join a new team and be a factor right away. As for where Williams will fit into Seattle's defense, Carroll said he can play anywhere along the D-line but called him a "classic 3-technique."

"He's been doing that for a long part of his career and he's really good at it," Carroll said. "He's an all-around player, versatile, run and pass, can rush the passer, cause issues and problems for your opponent. He's a terrific kid, he's a leader and a competitor and just the kind of guy you're fortunate to have on your team."

Carroll was asked what message the Seahawks are sending to their locker room by trading for Williams.

"We're competing," Carroll said. "That's really what this is about, is trying to get better and help our team, and this is one of the late opportunities to do something like that, and [GM] John [Schneider] did a beautiful job of figuring it out and how to work it and pick out the guy that really fits and can be a part of this team. I'm really excited for our guys to get to know Leonard and see who he is and what he's all about. His competitiveness is really very similar to guys that we have in this program, and it's going to fit in great."

The Seahawks have been getting strong play from defensive linemen Dre'Mont Jones and Jarran Reed this season, but they lacked depth behind those two and veteran Mario Edwards, and they needed another difference-maker up front after losing outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu to a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 7.

The Seahawks' trade for Williams marks the most significant deadline acquisition that Schneider and Carroll have made since they added safety Quandre Diggs from the Detroit Lions in 2019.

The Seahawks have no more draft picks coming their way via the Russell Wilson trade last year with the Denver Broncos, but they acquired an extra 2024 third-round selection from another deal with Denver in April's draft, which helps offset the second-rounder they'll send to the Giants for Williams.

This move comes as the Giants are struggling and looking to add resources for the future. Williams was in the final year of a three-year, $63 million deal signed in 2021. It was unlikely he was going to return next season at such a hefty price tag after the team committed toDexter Lawrencethis offseason.

Williams is one of several Giants players who have attracted interest before Tuesday's deadline, a source told ESPN's Jordan Raanan. New York could make more moves, although the team recently told running back Saquon Barkleyits intention was for him to not be traded.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson and wide receiver Parris Campbell are two other potential trade options.

The previous Giants regime under Dave Gettleman traded for Williams from the Jets in 2019. It cost the team third- and fourth-round picks at the time.

Four years and one day later, Williams leaves New York for the first time in his career. He was drafted by the Jets sixth overall in 2015. The deal leaves a substantial void in the middle of the Giants' defense, which has been built around Lawrence and Williams in the past few years.

The Giants' defense will likely shift its concentration to Lawrence and outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux, who had three sacks Sunday against the Jets and has 8.5 this season.

Williams has 1.5 sacks this season and 39.5 in his career.

ESPN's Brady Henderson contributed to this report.

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