Tagged in: John Ross

New York Giants to re-sign franchised Leonard Williams to three-year, $63 million deal

The New York Giants and twice-franchised defensive lineman Leonard Williams reached agreement on a three-year, $63 million deal that incorporates $45 million fully guaranteed on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Giants placed the franchise tag on Williams before the March 9 deadline, the second consecutive year that Williams was tagged. He was scheduled to make $19.4 million for the 2021 season on the franchise tender without an extension, which the two sides had until July 15 to agree upon.

The Giants entered the negotiating period approximately $4 million under the salary cap. Their flexibility to make moves was going to be contingent on striking a long-term deal with Williams.

The first-year cap hit in this deal is expected to land in the $11 million range, a source told ESPN. That provides the Giants an additional $8 million in cap space in addition to a restructuring of the contract for veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder.

The Giants immediately went to work with the newfound flexibility and agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million with $1 million guaranteed for former Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick John Ross, according to a source.

He provides the Giants with some much-needed speed and depth for a thin wide receiving corps.

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Williams is coming off a career-best campaign in which he ended with 11.5 sacks and 30 quarterback hits, good for third in the NFL. His 41 quarterback pressures was seventh among interior defensive linemen, according to NFL NextGen Stats data.

It was quite the turnaround for the 2015 first-round pick of the New York Jets in his first full season with the Giants. He thrived under coach Joe Judge and in the defensive system of coordinator Patrick Graham.

Williams, 26, was credited with half a sack the previous season, which he split between the Giants and the Jets. It was the latest in an unspectacular first five seasons in the NFL after being the sixth overall selection out of USC.

Regardless, the Giants traded a pair of middle-rounds draft picks for Williams midway through the 2019 season, just months before he was set to become a free agent. They placed the franchise tag on him last offseason, and he played on the one-year deal worth $16.126 million.

With his first double-digit sack season, Williams proved he was worth that and much more as one of the NFL’s most productive defensive linemen. His previous high for sacks in a season was seven in 2016.

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Bengals’ John Ross expected to miss multiple games with shoulder injury

According to Mike Garafolo, Bengals wide receiver John Ross is expected to miss multiple games due to a shoulder injury he suffered during Monday night’s 27-3 loss Cincinnati suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Garafolo reports that he could miss a month or so.

Late in the game, Ross was thrown to the ground by cornerback Joe Haden after making a catch. He would exit the matchup and not return, finishing with three catches for 36 yards on the night. 

Ross is arguably the only bright spot on a Bengals offense that has failed to score more than 20 points in a single game four weeks through the 2019 season. He had a huge performance in the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, he had seven catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He followed up that game with four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

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The former No. 9 overall pick fell off after that, however, making just five catches for 58 yards the following two weeks. 

Through four games, Ross already has more receiving yards than he has posted in each of the past two seasons.

He failed to record a catch in the three games he was active during his rookie season, and then had 21 receptions for 210 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. Zac Taylor’s offense is still a work in progress, but Ross is the one who has benefitted the most from it so far. 

Cincinnati will now rely even more on Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate to carry the load offensively. Boyd had 10 catches for 122 yards in Week 2, but was held to just 33 yards on Monday night. Tate had six catches for 88 yards in Week 3, and led the Bengals in receiving with four catches for 50 yards against the Steelers.

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