NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New York Giants Try to Improve Defense, Trade For LB Jon Beason 

According to AP reports, the Carolina Panthers are trading linebacker Jon Beason to the New York Giants. Terms have not yet been disclosed and the deal is still pending a physical.

Beason, a University of Miami product, was an absolute stud and one of the best linebackers in the league through his first four seasons, 2007-2010. Since then, though, he played a total of five games in 2011-12, and was benched in favor of former Giant Chase Blackburn in Week Three this season. Beason suffered hamstring injuries and 2011 and knee problems in 2012, the latter of which are still bothering him.

The Giants will probably need a week or two before they can insert Beason into the starting lineup. He is expected to challenge Mark Herzlich at the middle linebacker spot, although the Giants’ options on the outside are hardly imposing either. The Giants signed Dan Connor from Dallas to be the middle backer this season, but he’s on IR and will miss the season, necessitating a roster move.

The Giants as a team have been a disaster this season, although the defense has been hung out to dry by turnovers and terrible play on the offensive (and special teams) side of the ball. The Giants have, for years, been content to find linebackers on the scrap heap, and the approach worked when the defensive line was superlative. Now that the line can’t break through without help, though, the deficiencies in the back seven have been exposed. It’s frightening that a franchise known for Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks and Harry Carson has let the position devolve into undrafted and unwanted players.

On Carolina’s side, the defense has looked quite good early on, especially in shutting out the Giants in week three, before an early bye last week. The Panthers have one of the best defensive lines in the league, backed up by 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year (and last season’s leading tackler) linebacker Luke Kuechly. The secondary isn’t nearly as wonderful, but if the Panthers keep winning their battles in the trenches, it won’t have to be. Carolina will probably get a mid-to-low draft pick for Beason, and although they’ll still take a salary cap hit in 2014, the deal will lessen it.

How does this affect fantasy outlooks? Beason was already on the bench in Carolina, so the trade will not affect their rankings in any way. The Giants defense should have nowhere to go but up, but Beason is at least a full week from contributing. Beason had been a popular pre-season buy-low IDP candidate, but unless you’re in a ridiculously deep league that lets you stash him, he won’t have value. Giants linebacker Spencer Paysinger leads the team in tackles, and Herzlich is close behind him – but one or both of them will see their numbers drop once head coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell figure out how to incorporate Beason into their schemes. You can certainly bump Beason up to your watch list, but he’s still far away from even being worth a bench spot.

About the author: Jonathan Pollak

Jonathan Pollak has finally given in and started utilizing the internet to rant about football. He has been playing fantasy sports since a pencil, paper, and newspaper box scores were needed to calculate stats. His earliest and fondest memories are of Lawrence Taylor hurting people.

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