Before the New York Giants go shopping for new players in free agency, they first want to retain their impact players on the defensive line.
The Giants also "love" Dalvin Tomlinson and "will keep him if they can," but he might be able to get a bigger deal on the open market.
Both players had a significant role for New York last season, helping the squad finished ninth in the NFL in points allowed. Offensive issues limited the team to a 6-10 record, but the defense was for real and it started up front.
Williams set a career high with 11.5 sacks in 2020, totaling 57 tackles with 14 for a loss. The one-time Pro Bowler was part of a rare trade between the Jets and Giants, but looked like a steal with his impact this past year.
Tomlinson has been a reliable player at tackle since arriving as a second-round draft pick in 2017, starting all 64 regular-season games in the NFL. He had 49 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2020, providing a lot of pressure up the middle.
Keeping these players on the roster would go a long way toward helping the Giants compete for an NFC East title in 2021. The challenge for both will be money, with the team ranking 25th in the NFL in remaining cap space for 2021, per Spotrac.
Williams made $16.1 million last year on the franchise tag and the number will jump to $19.35 million or $21.34 million in 2021, depending on whether he is ruled a defensive end or defensive tackle. Leonard projected it would take a $20 million per year deal to re-sign the 26-year-old.
Tomlinson could make $10 million per year on his next deal, which would likely be too high to retain both.