The Giants were forced into the decision to contract Leonard Williams they hoped to avoid

The Giants slashed their future budget just to get out of the hell of a salary cap this season.

Despite General Manager Joe Shuen saying he wanted to do everything in his power to avoid this situation, the Giants had no choice on Tuesday but to restructure their defensive line. Leonard Williams necklace In order to get the maximum salary before the deadline on Wednesday.

The Giants converted nearly $18 million of Williams’ $19 million salary this season into a signing bonus and added a void year to his contract, allowing the salary cap fee to be spread evenly over three seasons. So, Williams’ new cap results are $15.3 million for 2022 (instead of $27.3 million), $32.3 million for 2023 (instead of $26.3 million) and $6 million for 2024 even though his deal expired by that time.

Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was another candidate for a restructured deal.

“We’ll get to where we need to get to what we can get during the season,” Schoen said last week. “But the situation is the situation. It is the hand that has been distributed to us, and we will do our best with what we have.”

Leonard Williams (right) greets Brian Dabol at Giants training on August 5, 2022.
Robert Sabo

Not much has changed for Williams, who will receive the same amount of cash over the course of his contract – sooner than expected.

In most cases, refactoring like this makes it difficult to cut the player off in the future because it raises the maximum fee and thus the player is safer. But the Giants have trimmed James Bradbury this season after restructuring his deal twice for maximum space last season.

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The Giants are flush with cover space in 2023 — about $49.4 million after Williams’ restructuring, the fifth highest in the NFL, according to But that doesn’t mean Williams is completely safe from cuts next season because the Giants could get off his bloated $32.3 million fee – the fourth-highest among quarterbacks – by getting more dead money.

Williams’ position can easily be traced back to the controversial trade with aircraft during October 2019.

Leonard Williams pressed Sam Darnold on October 25, 2021.
Leonard Williams pressed Sam Darnold on October 25, 2021.
Robert Sabo

In the middle of a lost season, the Giants lost all future negotiating influence with Williams by trading two of his draft picks just months before his free agency appointment. They were forced to use the franchise tag on him in a disappointing season as he produced half a sack, which in turn paid the highest dollar sum (three years, $63 million) in frayed negotiations to keep him from free agency after Williams blew 11 sacks in 2020.

The terms of Williams’ restructuring were first reported on Tuesday by The Athletic and ESPN.

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