The New York Giants and Jacquian Williams both knew for a while now that the two were moving in different directions.
Williams had posted numerous tweets as free agency started that foreshadowed his departure, and the Giants have made no effort to re-sign him. The Giants replaced him swiftly, signing both J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas on the first day of free agency. Both are linebackers like Williams.
While Williams never developed into the elite linebacker they had hoped (he had 244 tackles over four seasons), he still had one play that may have changed NFL history forever.
Flashback to the 2011 NFC championship game. 17-17 score in overtime with about 9 minutes remaining. The game was a hard fought, in the trenches game with little offense.
Steve Weathorford punted the ball, which was fielded by Kyle Williams, who looked to swing momentum with a nice return. Instead, a diving Jacquian Williams went in for the tackle. He missed the tackle, but wisely slapped the ball out of the hands of Kyle Williams, which was then recovered by Devin Thomas, leading directly to a Giants victory.
Without that play, who knows what would have happened. The Giants were struggling to move the ball, that may have been their only chance to win, and Williams came up huge.
Although he is leaving the team after a short four seasons, linebacker Jacquian Williams is permanently a part of Giant history. Without him, their may be no fourth Super Bowl trophy for the New York Giants.