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How are you feeling about the trade for Leonard Williams now, Giants fans?
Is Dave Gettleman still the bumbling idiot who’d let the game pass him by?
The Giants general manager was universally ridiculed for giving the Jets a third-round draft pick last season for Williams, who was in the final year of his contract. But that move isn’t looking so foolish now with Williams sitting on a career-high 8 ½ sacks, 24 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for losses this season with four games still to play.
It didn’t look so bad Sunday when Williams was sacking Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson 2 ½ times and hitting him five other times to help seal a stunning 17-12 Giants upset victory in Seattle.
And it won’t look so bad if Williams spends Sunday at MetLife Stadium harassing elusive Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in the Arizona backfield to help the resurgent Giants win their fifth consecutive game.
Williams, 26, spent his first four-plus years with the Jets hearing about all the things he wasn’t doing. The sacks never came — just 17 ½ in 71 games with the Jets — and all Williams heard about was what a failure he’d been. Then he was dealt to the Giants and all he heard was what a terrible trade it was.
A funny thing has happened to Williams and the Giants since the trade: It’s worked out. The Giants have gotten a season-plus to assess Williams’ talents and fit on the team. He’s gotten comfortable with his coaches and is having the best season of his career.
Williams, based on his standout performance in Seattle, was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, the first time since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2016 that a Giants defensive lineman earned that honor.
“It was definitely rewarding, because I feel like I’ve been a disruptive player in the league for a long time now,’’ Williams told The Post. “But sometimes when fans don’t see the sacks, they don’t think you’re doing anything.’’
The recognition won’t alter Williams’ hunger to be better. This is a guy who once sought advice from Ronnie Lott on how to be a defensive force and, this past offseason, worked with former Patriots star defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
“I don’t pay a lot of attention to what fans are saying,’’ Williams said. “Just like I couldn’t pay attention to what they were saying when they were saying bad stuff about me, I can’t pay attention now when they’re saying good stuff. I feel much better if I can make my teammates happy and make the team proud and help them win games.’’
Williams has been accomplishing that.
“Our defense couldn’t work without Leonard,’’ Giants safety Logan Ryan said.
And Williams said he couldn’t work without Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and particularly defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who he credited for allowing him to stop pressing for sacks to fulfill outside expectations.
Dating back to his Jets days, Williams has always been a high-motor backfield disrupter. He collected a lot of quarterback hurries and hits, but not many sacks. The difference in Williams this year is he’s become a finisher.
“I’ve always known who I am — I feel like I’ve proven I can get to the quarterback, and now it’s being able to take them down when I get there,’’ Williams said.
“He’s made a lot of disruptive plays, (but) to me, the finish he’s playing with is really making a big difference for us as a team,’’ head coach Joe Judge said.
“He’s one of the top three or four interior linemen in the league,’’ former Giants linebacker great and current radio broadcaster Carl Banks told The Post. “Does it matter if you gave up a third-round draft choice if you got the guy you want? If the guy you traded for is giving you a great return on your investment, then where’s the problem? You’re going to have to pay him anyway if you want to keep him.
“And, this gives Leonard a little bit of, ‘Hey, you like us, we like you,’ ’’ Banks went on. “It’s not like Leo’s in a hurry to try out another team where he doesn’t know if he fits.’’
Indeed, Williams is a loyal player. Though he acknowledged that “this is a business in the offseason,’’ he sounded like a player who wants no part of leaving the Giants.
“I definitely love the way this team is going,’’ Williams said. “There’s something about me that’s always wanted to be on a team that people doubted and eventually turned it around. I never wanted to be one of those guys that was on a bad team that’s losing wanting to go to a team that was winning. I like to ride with my teammates.’’
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