Leonard Williams has now been traded twice in his career, but the former Giants defensive end felt like only one of those trades was done his way.
The Giants traded Williams to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and a fifth-round pick in 2025.
Williams told reporters in Seattle on Wednesday that he knew a trade was possible and that the Seahawks deal was presented to him to get his blessing before moving forward.
“The way it was suggested to me by my GM [Joe Schoen] and with my agents, I think it was a respectful manner,” Williams said. “I’ve been traded before, and it was very abrupt, and I kind of had no say or anything like that.”
The trade Williams was alluding to was the deal the Jets made to send him to the Giants in October 2019, which was Joe Douglas’ first season as GM of the Jets.
According to Williams, the Jets sent Williams to the Giants on the eve of the trade deadline, seemingly without warning.
Things seemed to be working out for Williams during his four-plus seasons with the Giants, in which he recorded 22.5 sacks.
“Out of respect for myself and the state of my career, since I’m a little older, [Schoen] Let me know that there were a few teams, including Seattle, that were on the winning side of the season and are going to have a breakthrough this year,” Williams said of that trade.
“He was just like, ‘I know you have a connection to a lot of those people over there.’ So he was like, “Let me know before four o’clock today.” Talk to your agents and things like that. So the way it happened felt a little more negotiated and I think it went well.”
Williams has 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and one tackle for a loss in eight games and gives the first-place Seahawks some much-needed help on the defensive line.