Giants Add Former Brian Daboll Weapon at Crowded Position

Brian Daboll

Getty The New York Giants signed a free-agent wide receiver who's a former favorite of head coach Brian Daboll.

The New York Giants have given quarterback Daniel Jones another weapon by signing wide receiver Cole Beasley, who played three seasons for head coach Brian Daboll with the Buffalo Bills from 2019-21.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported the transaction on Friday, July 21, before CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson confirmed Beasley signed a one-year deal.

Beasley, who is entering his 12th season in the NFL, enjoyed his best campaign in 2020, when he earned second-team All-Pro honors after making 82 catches while Daboll served as offensive coordinator for the Bills. Another 82 receptions followed a season later, but Beasley struggled to catch on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, before returning to Buffalo.

Sticking on the Giants’ roster will demand Beasley separates himself from several other wideouts with similar playing styles. If he can do that, the veteran will provide Jones with a reliable chain-mover in the passing game.

Veteran Faces Tough Competition

As Jim Ayello of The Athletic put it, Beasley “joins not only a crowded wide receiver room but one that is chock-full of slot options like him.” Those options include incumbent Sterling Shepard, second-year pro Wan’Dale Robinson and fellow free-agent arrivals Jamison Crowder and Parris Campbell.

All four of those pass-catchers can aptly be described as possession-style receivers. The moniker also applies to Beasley, who played 526 snaps in the slot in 2020, per Player Profiler, and another 536 slot snaps in 2021.

Daboll was never shy about calling Beasley’s number, with Nick Falato of SB Nation’s Big Blue View pointing out how the player tallied “over 100 targets in each season with 233 total catches for 2,456 yards and 11 TDs” during their spell in Buffalo.

Beasley was trusted because of how consistently he kept the sticks moving. He turned 124 catches into first downs on Daboll’s watch, per Pro Football Reference.

Jones will appreciate a sure-handed receiver who can convert tough catches into first downs. Beasley can still do that, but the 34-year-old won’t stretch the field the way Campbell can.

He also needs to prove himself all over again after a disappointing 2022 season.

Former 2nd Team All-Pro Needs to Bounce Back

Beasley played just two games with the Bucs before briefly retiring from the league. He ended his retirement for a second tour with the Bills but still had a mere 11 catches for 103 yards to show for his season.

While Beasley returned to the AFC East, he might have reunited with Daboll instead. Beasley “flirted with the Giants on multiple occasions last year. Almost signed with them during last season,” according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.

Now the Giants have finally signed Beasley, Daboll can see what one of his key former players still has left in the tank. Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka would welcome Beasley proving himself since Shepard missed 14 games after tearing his ACL against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3, while Robinson also tore his ACL eight weeks later against the Detroit Lions.

If Beasley can help, Jones will have a plethora of targets to help him justify the four-year, $160-million contract the Giants gave their QB1 earlier this offseason. Jones got his payday, ahead of running back Saquon Barkley, who had to settle for the franchise tag.

Barkley still hasn’t signed his tender and is a doubt for the start of training camp on Wednesday, July 26, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. The Giants added veteran running back James Robinson as potential insurance, and Beasley provides valuable cover among Jones’ receivers.