It's no secret that Jon Beason is considered a free agent priority for the New York Giants given what he did for their defense this past year after being acquired in October from the Carolina Panthers. And now, the team is looking to lock him up long-term.
The Giants have begun to discuss a long-term contract for the 29-year-old middle linebacker, as first reported by Dan Graziano of ESPN New York, with the goal being to lock him up before the March 11th start date to the free agency period in the NFL.
"Linebacker Jon Beason is a player they'd like to bring back and with whom they've discussed a long-term deal. The franchise-tag salary for linebackers is likely to be more than $10 million, though, so they'd have to feel confident about their chances of signing Beason long-term (they'd have until July 15 to do so) if they were to risk paying him that much on a one-year deal."
With the franchise tag period now under way, Beason's name was listed as a candidate to receive the tag from the team, but it was also unlikely that the Giants would use it on any of their players given how many holes they have to fill. Plus, the Giants would prefer to keep Beason around past 2014, which is why the long-term deal is the ultimate goal. Last week, Giants 101 examined what kind of contract the Giants would be willing to give Beason for his efforts this season, which was in the four-five year range at around $20-24 million.
Beason was acquired from the Panthers just before the team's Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles for a seventh-round draft pick and immediately made a huge impact on a defense that struggled through it's first five weeks of the season to stop opponents. Beason collected 93 of his 104 overall total tackles and one interception in 12 games with the Giants and helped transform a 31st ranked defense into an eighth ranked defense by the end of the season.
Before injuries, Beason was considered one of the top middle linebackers in the sport, but an Achilles injury claimed most of his 2011 season which then followed with a knee injury claiming most of his 2012 season. By the time the 2013 season came around, Luke Kuechly was now established as the Panthers starting middle linebacker, which forced Beason to the outside linebacker spot, but he was beat out for that job by former Giant Chase Blackburn and thus, setting the wheels in motion for Beason to be put on the trade block and Panthers GM and former Giants executive Dave Gettleman to make the deal with his old team and send the former first round pick of the 2007 NFL Draft to New Jersey.
The Giants need for a middle linebacker was an obvious one after the Week 1 season-ending neck injury to Dan Connor and with Mark Herzlich simply not cutting it as a starter, Beason's arrival in New York happened, which may have turned out to not only be the best move the team made in 2013, but given the impact that Beason had on the team, his trade may go down as one of the best trades in team history as well.
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