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Giants Shake Up Roster, Part With Beason, Beatty, and Schwartz

Beason retires, Beatty and Schwartz released.

A new champion has been crowned, meaning the NFL offseason is officially upon us. The Giants wasted no time in starting theirs with some big moves, as the team has announced the retirement of ILB Jon Beason and the releases of OT Will Beatty and G Geoff Schwartz.

Beason was originally believed to be among the Giants’ cuts, but the team later announced the 31-year-old is hanging up his cleats. It’s possible the defensive captain was contemplating retirement anyway, and the news of his release simply expedited his decision.

Beason joined the Giants on October 4, 2013 when the Carolina Panthers traded him to New York for a seventh round pick. After falling out of the starting lineup in Carolina, he had a rebirth with Big Blue.

Jon Beason (Associated Press)

Jon Beason (Associated Press)


He immediately became a key playmaker, recording 93 tackles and an interception in 11 games with the Giants. His presence seemed to light a fire under the whole team. After an 0-5 start, the Giants won seven of their last 11 games after Beason debuted.

After the 2013 season, he re-signed with the Giants on a three-year, $19 million deal. Unfortunately, Beason was never able to recapture that same success he enjoyed with the Giants in 2013.

During 2014 training camp, Beason suffered a ligament tear in fracture in a toe on his right foot that caused him to miss the entire preseason. While he made it back for the season opener, it took just two games for Beason to re-aggravate the injury, and he missed the next three games. Yet again, the toe injury came back again just two games later. He underwent surgery, ending his season. Beason finished 2014 with just 11 tackles in four games.

Last season was not much kinder to the veteran. After remaining with the team on a restructured deal, Beason looked to stay healthy, but the injury bug bit him again that preseason. He sustained a left knee sprain that caused him to miss the regular season’s first two games. Beason returned, but dealt with a concussion, an ankle injury and a re-aggravation of his left knee injury forced him to season-ending injured reserve in November. He finished the season with 18 tackles in five games.

Last season, Uani Unga and Jasper Brinkley both filled in at middle linebacker as Beason dealt with injuries. While both reserve players had a few strong performances, the Giants may choose to look elsewhere for a long-term answer at the position.

Beason’s retirement saves the Giants’ $4.5 million against the salary cap.

While his on-field career with the Giants will likely be remembered for its unfulfilled potential thanks to injuries, Beason was well-respected by his teammates, as he was voted a team captain ahead of the 2015 season.

Beason was a first-round pick out of Miami for the Panthers in 2007. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro for the Panthers. He finishes his NFL career with 705 tackles in 93 games.

Beatty’s release comes after a precipitous fall down the depth chart thanks to a torn pectoral muscle suffered last May.

The Giants’ 2009 second-round pick out of UConn had been the Giants’ primary left tackle since the 2011 season, and was expected to protect Eli Manning’s blindside once again in 2015. But he suffered a freak torn pec while lifting weights during OTAs, and was forced to the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform list.

Beatty seemed to be on the verge of a return in October when he returned to practice, but the Giants still did not activate him off the PUP list. It was later revealed Beatty was also dealing with a torn rotator cuff, for which he underwent season-ending surgery.

New York Giants offensive tackle Will Beatty will miss 5-6 months with a pectoral tear (Getty Images).

Will Beatty (Getty Images).

Beatty became expendable after 2015 first-rounder Ereck Flowers stepped into the left tackle role following Beatty’s injury. While Flowers was far from perfect, the Giants clearly feel that he gained valuable experience and are comfortable keeping him on the blindside moving forward.

With Flowers “Wally Pipping” Beatty, plus Beatty set to count $9.175 million against the salary cap, the decision was an easy one. The Giants save $4.175 million by releasing the 30-year-old.

Schwartz was always one of the Giants’ top offensive linemen when he was healthy, but that was not often.

The Giants signed Schwartz to a four-year, $16.8 million deal ahead of the 2014 season, and planned to install him as the starting left guard before a dislocated toe suffered in the preseason sent him to short-term injured reserve.

He returned in late November of that season, but it wasn’t long before a left ankle sprain sent him back to IR and ended his season. Schwartz played in just two games for Big Blue in 2014.

Geoff Schwartz (NJ Advanced Media).

Geoff Schwartz (NJ Advanced Media).

Prior to last season, Schwartz agreed to a restructured deal to stay with the team, and shifted to right guard. While he dealt with a few nagging injuries throughout the season, he remained healthy enough to play and be a decent run blocker for the first couple months of the season. That all changed when his leg got rolled up in Week 12 and he suffered a broken ankle, ending his season.

Schwartz’s strong play makes his release a little surprising, but the Giants were likely concerned by his injury proneness, and were able to save about $3 million by cutting him. John Jerry seems to be the logical next man up as the roster is currently constituted, but the Giants will likely look to upgrade the offensive line through the draft and free agency.

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