The New York Giants were expected to nix several of their high-priced players, and after a lot of speculation, now we know who.
Reports spread quickly that linebacker Jon Beason and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz were the first to be cut, stating that they were to be released outright.
Almost simultaneously, Beason decided to take the opportunity to announce his retirement from the NFL. As it turns out, the host of injuries he has suffered from over the last four seasons has made retirement the best decision for Beason’s health at this point.
As a is a former first-round draft pick (25th overall), Beason spent his first six seasons playing for the Carolina Panthers. He broke and set a number of records as their linebacker, quickly evolving from rookie team member to leader of the Panthers defense.
In 2013, he was traded to the Giants, where he instantly made an impact. The Giant’s were facing disappointing beginning to the season at 0-6. After Beason was added to the defense, the Giants went on to win five-straight. He was named captain in both 2014 and 2015.
Beason remembers that first year fondly. As he previously stated,
When I came into the locker room and walked through Quest Diagnostics (Training Center) for the first time, I was excited and eager and ready to work, because I knew I could. The confidence and the faith that guys in the locker room had in me based on who I was and the track record made it a seamless transition to come in and be myself. I wanted to come in and not step on toes, knowing that they had great leadership and guys that won championships in the locker room. I was grateful, because I was going to a team that knew how to win championships. That was very, very exciting for me. That was something I was thoroughly looking forward to and I was ready to get to work.
That first year, it was quite a story. We experienced a lot of success once I got there. (I’m) not saying it was because of me, but the timing of it, winning seven of nine, having an opportunity to win five games straight after an 0-6 start was special, and showed the type of guys we had in the locker room. It’s just crazy what can happen when everybody buys in and gives of themselves for a cause. It couldn’t have been scripted any better for me personally.”
Beason has been an integral and dedicated Giants team member, even in the end. When doctors unanimously decided it would be best for him to retire, Beason was disappointed. He wanted to keep playing. In four of the last five seasons, he was only able to appear in five games or less due to his knee. It just wouldn’t make sense to continue, which is why at just 31 years old, he will retire.
Over the course of his career, Beason played in 93 games, recorded 526 tackles, four sacks, 10 interceptions for 116 yards, 33 passes defended, three forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. With the Giants alone, Beason had 82 tackles and one interception for nine yards, despite only appearing in 12 games his first season, four games in 2014, and five games in 2015. He was also selected to three Pro Bowls.
Following conflicting announcements of Beason’s release and then retirement, the New York Giants announced that they will also be letting go long-time veteran left tackle Will Beatty.
With all three of these releases, the Giants will save roughly $12.2 million in cap space — Beatty at $4.2 million, Schwartz at $3 million, and Beason at $5.1 million — but will also add a dead cap of around $8.4 million. It’s also possible the Giants will save an additional $2.5 million in dead cap against Beatty’s deal, if he’s designated a post-June 1st cut.
While bittersweet to see promising players go, those huge savings should make the Giants team of the future pretty exciting to see.
Dr. Andrew Rudin is a Cardiologist and long time Giants fan in New York. To learn more about his career, please visit his professional website.