In the midst of a dreadful 0-4 season, the New York Giants made a move to acquire linebacker Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional late round pick. Having passed his physical, Beason feels he is ready to contribute to the Giants right away.
"I know I'll come in tomorrow early and meet the coaches and I'll get my linebacker coach (Jim Herrmann) and we're going to cram. If they ask me to, I'll dress and I'll give everything I have," he said.
Beason is a three-time Pro Bowler with seven seasons of NFL experience under his belt. A few years ago this would have been a tremendous steal for the New York Giants. Today however, it is a far less spectacular deal. Though it is still a very intriguing move in that it is not only revealing of the Giants’ mentality for the remainder of this season, but it also places General Manager Jerry Reese in position for further potential criticism. A closer analysis however may reveal that Reese may have actually pulled off a relatively fair trade by orchestrating an exchange of equal value for the late round conditional pick that was sent to the Carolina Panthers.
The trade could easily backfire if Beason reverts to his recent injury prone ways. Beason lost his starting job to former Giant, Chase Blackburn, while with the Panthers this season and was subsequently placed on the trading block. If healthy, Beason can be a tremendous upgrade at linebacker for the depleted corps, or at the very least offer experienced depth and leadership.
At the end of the day, it’s up to Jon Beason to prove his value with his play on the field, assuming he can stay on it. Until then however, Reese will have his doubters, claiming he gave up too much for an injury prone linebacker. To weigh the value of the transaction one must consider the value of the conditional pick assuming at the most it is a fifth round pick.
Considering the last nine 5th round picks in recent Giants’ history could help explain why Reese was willing to part ways with his selection. Names like Cooper Taylor, Mitch Petrus, Rhett Bomar, Jonathan Goff, Kevin Boss, Charlie Peprah, Gibril Wilson, David Diehl and Nick Greisen indicate the unpredictability of the success rate of the selection. There have been busts, benchwarmers, Super Bowl contributors, and solid starters. The latter are much more infrequent, and the likelihood of such a result is quite comparable to that of Jon Beason performing like a starter or even better, a three time Pro Bowler again.
Sure, they risk losing a potential young stud in the draft, but nowadays that can be said about a pick in any round. Sometimes it’s ok to calculate and risk the future for the benefit of the present, it often makes the present more enjoyable. The Beason acquisition has such potential. Thus, it’s a low risk, high reward type of move that can potentially help the defensive unit on the field this season. However, the greatest effect of this trade may very well be felt off the field and in the locker room.
One of the most glaring revelations of this trade is that the Giants’ front office and coaches believe this team can still win the NFC East. With the proper adjustments and acquisitions here and there the Giants are trying to patch some holes in their sinking ship, and hope old reliable Captain Eli can save them once again.
Regardless of the start, there are twelve games remaining, seven of which are division games. The Giants are only two games back of the Cowboys for the division lead; a team that will face essentially a video game offense with a quarterback who knows all the cheats. The Giants are still very much in control of their own destiny and until that fact changes there is no reason for a single player on this team to believe they are not capable of winning; a locker room mentality exposed by Giants safety Antrel Rolle earlier this week.
Ultimately, this trade serves as a message to the team from the front office, pleading that they believe the Giants can still win this season. Rather than concerning themselves with the future, Reese & Co. pulled a risky trigger on an injury prone Pro Bowler that could eventually hurt, or actually help the Giants defense tremendously if he can find his form. Nonetheless, the message is clear, the Giants are still expected to win this season.
If the coaches and front office believe it’s possible, so should the players. Therefore the only appropriate conclusion to this article is a verse from the theme of the children’s hit cartoon, Arthur. Words that Head Coach, Tom Coughlin should share with this Giants team that at times can be about as erratic and emotionally sensitive as the children who these words are intended for.
“You got to listen to your heart
Listen to the beat
Listen to the rhythm, the rhythm of the street
Open up your eyes, open up your ears
Get together and make things better by working together
It's a simple message and it comes from the heart
Believe in yourself
Well that’s the place to start”
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