Giants’ Leonard Williams seeking career help from Richard Seymour

Leonard Williams is seeking more than just a big pay day.

Williams sought out former Patriots and Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour for training help as he tries to take the next step in an enigmatic career. A photo tweeted by Williams shows the duo together, and ESPN reported that Seymour invited Williams to his Atlanta home to review game film and join a workout.

“I’ve been working with him, assessing what I think his strengths and weaknesses are,” Seymour told ESPN, “and what does he need to do to take that next step to be the perennial All-Pro player that he has the ability to be. He’s 25 years old. He’s young. Athletic. Can run like a deer.”

The Giants traded a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and either a fourth- or fifth-rounder in 2021 to the Jets to acquire Williams last October.

It was a strange and much-criticized deal considering the two-win Giants were headed nowhere and Williams is a free agent with no assurances of re-signing. The Giants’ exclusive window for negotiating an extension with Williams will be up in four weeks, when unrestricted free agency opens.

Both sides have expressed interest in remaining together. Williams’ market value is estimated at $8.2 million per year by spotrac.com, but top defensive linemen earn nearly double that amount and he sees himself in an elite vein.

Williams had 11 quarterback hits in eight games with the pass-rush-starved Giants, after five in seven games for the Jets, who gave up on their former No. 6 overall pick via trade in his fifth season. He trailed only Markus Golden (27) and Lorenzo Carter (13) for the Giants’ lead despite the late arrival.

But the story with Williams is that he is a near-miss as a pass-rusher. He piles up the hurries, pressures and hits, but only has 2.5 sacks in his last 26 games. He grades out well as a run defender.

Seymour retired in 2012, with 57.5 sacks over 12 seasons. He was a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist this year.

“I respect the hard work of guys that come in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh round, but it’s different when you are the guy and have to perform at that level, basically with a target on your back the whole time and live up to that. And exceed expectations,” Seymour said. “I’ve been telling him, it’s really about competition. Competing. And hanging around and being around people who have the same mindset, being in that environment all the time. It helps in terms of what you’re trying to accomplish.”

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