BREAKING: The New York Jets have traded interior defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a 2nd and 4th round draft selection.
The second former USC Trojan traded in as many weeks, Williams comes as a bit of a shocker to be sent out of New York after posting a career high in sacks last season. However, the management team for the Jets has made it clear that they want this team to get younger, quick. Williams is getting up there in age and has hit his peak, to go along with his large contract that pays him upwards of $13 million per year. This moves frees up significant cap space for the Jets and they now have multiple picks in each of the first three rounds of the draft, with more potentially on the way.
Revenge will come early for Williams as they Jets are set to square off against the Saints in New Orleans come week one of the season. Will Leonard be able to get revenge on his former team, or will the Jets prove their decision to trade the star player to be correct?
Statement from New York:
“We would first like to thank Leonard for his many years in New York. Without him, this franchise would not be where it is today. He has been a vital part of the process of turning this team around, and he will never be forgotten. With that being said, both sides were able to come to an agreement that it was time for us to part. Leonard wanted a change of scenery, and we wanted to get younger and build some cap room. Williams is a phenomenal player. New Orleans is getting a good one. We wish Leonard all the best, and we cannot wait to see what he accomplishes from here on out. We’ll see you week one.”
Statement from Williams:
“Thank you to New York for an amazing start to my career. You guys believed in me when nobody else did. This city embraced me and made me feel at home from day one. It has been an honor getting to play for the city of New York and represent you on the biggest stage. I hope I’ve made you proud. To my coaches: thank you. You pushed me daily and I am better for it. To my teammates: thank you. You guys are my brothers. I wish we still had a chance to compete together, but I know you will hold it down for me. To New Orleans: I’m coming. We are building something special, and I can’t wait to get to work. Who dat!”