As much as some want to keep Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph and even Hakeem Nicks, the one name most fans say that is a priority is Beason. The veteran linebacker was acquired in early October in a deal with the Carolina Panthers that cost the Giants all of a seventh-round draft pick and helped turn a defense that at one time, was ranked 31st in the league and finished eighth overall.
While a lot of people thought he was done given that his last full season in the NFL was back in 2010, Beason used the trade to the Giants as his second chance to show every single doubter in the league that he was far from done and still had a lot left in the tank and made ever bit of his stint with the Giants count in 2013. In the 12 games that he played in New York, he totaled for 93 tackles and one interception and ended up with 104 for the season, the first time he reached over 100 since his last healthy season, which was again, back in 2010.
Beason took a very early liking to New York and made it very clear that he wanted to remain a Giant for the remainder of his career and even thought he could join the team as a coach or advisor in some capacity after his playing career was over, but the short time he spent in New York made Beason fall in love with the team, city and the aura that came with playing in New Jersey. Now that the season is over and with less than a month until free agency begins, the Giants have plenty of time to try and work out a deal with the now 29-year-old middle linebacker and lock him up for the next couple of seasons.
But what's the price tag going to be for Beason? He made roughly around $3.25 million in 2013 and likely would be due for a pay raise given how he returned to the elite, play-making form that for several years, made him one of the best middle linebackers in the entire sport. It's tough to use previous deals that the Giants have signed in the past only because the last couple of linebackers they signed long-term in Antonio Pierce (five years, $26 in 2005) and Michael Boley (five years, $25 million in 2009), they were both 26 at the time, whereas Beason is three years older than that and is finally shaking off the label of being injury prone. With that said, Beason's as vital to that eighth-ranked defense and the team knows it.
If Beason is true to his word, then perhaps a four-year deal for $19.5 million would be enough get things done, or if the Giants want to sweeten the deal, a five-year deal for $23.5 million with around $11 million guaranteed. With that, it raises his pay to a shade over $4 million per season and it will give Beason the chance to continue his success with the Giants and potentially, finish his career with the team, which is what he wanted from the moment he arrived back in October.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese alluded to the fact that he was going to try and sign some of his own players before the March 11 starting date for free agency and Beason likely is one he wants to keep off the market and with the team, so if both sides are open to a deal that favors both parties, it could be only a matter of time before Beason does re-sign. Last year, the Giants re-signed Will Beatty to his five-year deal back on February 27, which was well before last year's starting time to free agency back on March 11, so the next two weeks could be a pivotal time for the Giants to pick up the negotiations with themselves and Beason and convince him that he needs to stick around and help the team win another championship.
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