One of the New York Giants‘ biggest question marks on their roster just got a whole lot more questionable.
The former Western Michigan standout now joins the likes of offensive tackle Nate Solder and wide receiver Da’mari Scott among the list of Giants players to opt-out thus far. The opt-out deadline is currently set at 4:00 p.m ET on Thursday.
Beal was projected as the favorite to land the vacant starting spot left behind by troubled ex-1st-rounder, DeAndre Baker, opposite big-ticket free-agent James Bradberry in Big Blue’s newly overhauled secondary.
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Where Do the Giants Go From Here at CB?
With Baker’s future with the Giants in limbo and Beal’s decision to opt-out, New York is now left with a slew of unproven yet intriguing options at cornerback.
Second-year pro Corey Ballentine, rookie Darnay Holmes and under the radar free-agent signing Montre Hartage will all likely be given the opportunity to stake claim to the starting CB2 gig in New York.
Also, don’t be surprised if safety Julian Love gets a look at his old college position. Love starred as a cornerback during his Notre Dame days prior to being shifted to safety upon entering the league. In his final season with the Fighting Irish, Love earned consensus All-American honors while posting an outstanding 90.7 Pro Football Focus coverage grade, ranking 3rd best among eligible cornerbacks in his draft class.
Expectations are sky-high for the position-less stud, as he was recently ranked amongst the top-25 potential breakout stars of the forthcoming season.
Aside from their in-house talent, Logan Ryan is still sitting on the open market and looking for work. Ryan and Giants head coach Joe Judge’s relationship dates back to their Patriots days, where the duo helped bring two Lombardi Trophies back home to Foxborough.
The 29-year-old is also fresh off his best statistical season to date, collecting an eye-popping 113 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, 18 passes defended, four interceptions and four forced fumbles with the Titans in 2019.
Beal’s Career in NY Over?
Sam Beal came to New York with perceived lockdown-corner potential. A 3rd-round supplementary draft pick in 2018, many pegged the long-limed defender as a likely 1st-rounder had he returned to Western Michigan for his senior year.
Unfortunately, Beal has not materialized into the draft steal that many had lauded him just three years ago. Beal’s intriguing skillset has been vastly overshadowed by his inability to remain on the football field. His rookie season was wiped clean before it ever started when Big Blue placed him on season-ending IR with a shoulder injury in late-July of 2018.
His 2019 season started the same way as his 2018 season did, on IR. Beal was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury prior to the kickoff of the regular season. However, this time he was designated for return from injured reserve, ultimately being activated in early November.
While he flashed at moments, the results were mostly underwhelming. According to Pro Football Focus, the 23-year-old cornerback allowed one touchdown in 20 pass targets against him, while posting a 104.3 QB rating when thrown at.
With Beal opting-out, he’s now primed to miss his second full season in three-years. With just six NFL appearances to his name and an abundance of other promising prospects at the cornerback position in New York, it’s certainly plausible to wonder if we’ve seen the last of Beal in a Giants uniform.
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