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Leonard Williams may be hitting the open market, should the Raiders care?

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The Raiders have a need, but is the Giants defensive end worth the money?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
Leonard Williams
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A week from now, we will be starting to get our questions answered about what the Las Vegas Raiders are going to do in free agency.

The legal tampering period starts next Monday and free agency officially begins Wednesday, March 18. But, Monday is our target date for all chaos.

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams will likely be part of the conversation in the grand NFL scheme of it all.

There are reports that he and the Giants are not close on a deal and he may not be given the franchise tag. Thus, he may hit the market.

And:

Are the Raiders that AFC team that Josina Anderson is referring to? Well, there’s 1 in 16 chance they are.

Even if they’re not, there is a chance the Raiders are ready to make a move on Williams. They were connected to Williams last season before the trade deadline when the New York Jets sent him across MetLife Stadium to the Giants.

Williams was also connected to the Raiders prior to the 2015 draft when he was coming into the league as the USC alum was interested in joining the Raiders.

In the end, though, the Raiders (led by then general manager Reggie McKenzie and then coach Jack Del Rio) took receiver Amari Cooper with the No. 4 pick, sending Williams to the Jets at No. 6.

NFL: New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Williams
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Like Cooper, Williams hasn’t completely lived up to the hype in his first five NFL seasons. He is a solid defensive linemen, but not spectacular. He had just 26 tackles and a half sack in 2019. He totaled seven sacks in 2016 and 2017 and had 68 tackles in 2016. But he has not been consistently a high impact player.

Still, from the reports about his contract talks, it appears Williams believes he will be highly paid on the open market.

We all know the Raiders have needs on the defensive line and they will likely be active at the position in free agency. But I don’t see the value in giving Williams a big contract. The impact on the field just isn’t there.