Giants Re-Sign Jon Beason
The Giants retained middle linebacker Jon Beason on a three-year, $19 million contract with $7 million in guaranteed money. Acquired via trade in 2013, he stepped in and revitalized the New York defense as a veteran leader, prompting the Giants to re-sign the former Carolina Panther.
A first-round pick in 2007, Beason enjoyed three Pro Bowl seasons in Carolina before his career was derailed by injuries. As the trips to season-ending injured reserve started to pile up, Luke Kuechly ran away with the middle linebacker job, and Beason flopped during his experiment as an outside linebacker.
It looked like Beason’s career was done until the Giants traded a seventh-round pick for the reclamation project. Beason started 11 games in New York and posted 93 total tackles (65 solo) and an interception. Extrapolated over 16 games, that’s 135 total tackles with 94 solos. That would’ve tied Beason for eighth in total tackles and solos among LBs. Plus, that’s a pace he’s familiar with. During his first four seasons in Carolina, he averaged 135 total tackles and 104 solos per season.
With the potential for that kind of production, fantasy owners in tackle-heavy leagues should keep an eye on Beason, but his injury history and lack of recent sustained production should be cause for concern.
Also of concern is the fact that Giants linebackers have been fantasy afterthoughts pretty much ever since Antonio Pierce had a top-10 season in 2006. Michael Boley is the closest thing they’ve had to an IDP star, yet even he failed to consistently produce for fantasy owners. Beason will have to break that trend to find a home in the hearts of fantasy IDPers.
It should be noted that Beason graded out as one of 2013’s worst inside linebackers. His -13.4 overall grade ranked ninth-worst among ILBs, while his -11.2 coverage grade was fourth-worst. His 7.1 run-stop percentage ranked as the 10th-worst total for an ILB. That’s bad news for Giants fans, but if Beason is flirting with triple-digit tackles, his fantasy owners will find a way to overlook it.
More bad news for the Giants defense is that there is a ton of uncertainty with the positions surrounding Beason. Gone are Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Keith Rivers, and Ryan Mundy. Terrell Thomas and Mike Patterson are free agents, while there have been rumblings that Mathias Kiwanuka and Antrel Rolle may be too expensive to keep.
On top of that, once-dominant force Jason Pierre-Paul has been a shell of himself since his injury problems popped up. 2013 third-round pick Damontre Moore is making some noise as a potential breakout, but that may be the only positive news on defense outside of Beason’s return. Look for the Giants to reshape this defense going forward.
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Johnny B. Davis is a staff writer for PFF Fantasy. He likes to root out raw, young dynasty talent and spread the gospel of IDP. Follow Johnny on Twitter @JohnnyBDavis