The New York Giants have released offensive tackle Will Beatty, offensive guard Geoff Schwartz and linebacker Jon Beason, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano.
Beatty, 30, saves the Giants $4.2 million in cap space next season. He has been with the Giants since 2009 when he was selected as a second-round pick. Beatty missed all of last season due to a torn pectoral muscle.
Schwartz, 29, saves the Giants $3 million in cap space next season. He has missed significant time over the last two seasons with a number of injuries.
Beason, 31, saves the Giants $5.1 million in cap space next season. Similarly to Schwartz, Beason has been unable to stay on the field for the last two seasons due to injuries. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News, Beason may announce his retirement from the NFL later today.
These moves coincide with the Giants plan to maximize their cap space entering free agency. (Feb. 10).
Sam Spiegelman, SNY.TV:
Will Beatty reaction:
No question, this news is a bit blindsiding.
Beatty was expected to anchor the Giants' offensive line this past season before a torn pectoral in the spring and underwent rotator cuff surgery before he was about to make his season debut.
He was one of the highest-rated tackles in the NFL in 2014, but releasing the left tackle saves the team $4.175 million.
Ereck Flowers endured his share of struggles as a rookie tackle this past season, but an up-and-down year should have prepared him to ultimately replace Beatty as the Giants' full-time starting left tackle.
The Giants will have to address both right tackle and guard with the subtractions of Beatty and Schwartz, barring some reshuffling to shift Justin Pugh back at tackle.
The team has nabbed offensive linemen consistently over the past couple of drafts, and that looks like a direction it will head down again in 2016 barring a major splash for linemen in free agency.
The team could also have increased expectations for rising young linemen like Emmett Cleary and Bobby Hart.
Geoff Schwartz reaction:
This should not come as much of a surprise as the offensive lineman has been consistently in and out the Giants' lineup over the past two years.
The injury plagued 29-year-old has appeared in 11 games due to varying foot and ankle injuries, though there was a sense of optimism that a full offseason of recovery would prepare Schwartz for the 2016 season. However, this leaves the Giants searching for a new offensive lineman, perhaps in free agency or the draft.
Releasing Schwartz saved the Giants $2.99 million against the salary cap, which is a big bonus for the team heading into the offseason. Expect the Giants to bolster the line and continue the movement of adding younger, more talented players.
Jon Beason reaction:
This move doesn't come as much of a surprise as well, given the linebacker's inability to stay on the field.
A talented but oft-injured talent, Beason was the heart of the Giants defense, when healthy, but the latter has truly been a pitfall of the team of late. Beason doesn't exactly leave major holes to fill, as the 31-year-old linebacker has appeared in nine games over the past two seasons.
Beason was an elite addition to the Giants' run defense back in 2013 when he came to New York from the Carolina panthers, as he recorded 65 tackles with an interception in 11 starts.
Staying on the field has been the problem, but it's also provided the team with a solution. Jasper Brinkley saw an increased role and made an impact in place of Beason.
The Giants can continue to address other positions of need with the $4.5 million saved by cutting Beason, who is reportedly contemplating retirement.