After a vastly underwhelming three-and-a-half-year run in East Rutherford, the New York Giants finally opted to cut bait with cornerback Sam Beal on November 9th. By the sound of it, the 25-year-old Michigan native couldn’t be more pleased with Big Blue’s decision. Beal took to Instagram shortly after being waived, where he made it a point that preference for a divorce was a two-way street.
“Feelings are mutual New York,” Beal captioned a photo of himself in his Giants uniform (a rare sight over his tenure with the team, might we add). “Rocky start to my career but I’m glad I was able to grow my time being here. Fresh start and new opportunity.”
Beal cleared waivers on November 10th, making him a free agent. According to USA Today’s Art Stapleton, there are “no plans for the [Giants] to re-sign Beal to the practice squad.”
Dave Gettleman’s Latest Failed Draft Pick
Beal is just the latest in a laundry list of once-promising, yet eventual draft failures for general manager Dave Gettleman. The former third-round supplemental draft pick becomes the ninth player the Giants drafted between 2018 and 2019 that is no longer with the team.
If it wasn’t for history being against Gettleman, it would be hard to drag him for the Beal selection. Perceived as a steal for the G-Men at the time, many pegged the 6-foot-1-inch, 177-pound Beal a likely 1st-rounder had he returned to Western Michigan for his senior campaign.
Ultimately, Beal never materialized into the future lockdown corner that many projected him to be. Instead, his Giants career was mostly riddled with injuries and off-field concerns, the latter of which Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post touched on:
Beal’s release came after he pleaded guilty to two gun charges in June, stemming from an arrest in Ohio in June 2020. He had entered into a pretrial diversion program and was placed on two years of probation.
Beal missed the entirety of his rookie season after suffering a shoulder injury in late July of 2018. The following season he appeared in only six games due to a hamstring injury. In 2020, Beal was expected to compete for a starting gig opposite James Bradberry following the Deandre Baker debacle. However, he chose to opt out of play that season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Including his opt-out season and numerous healthy scratches this year, Beal has appeared in just nine of his potential 57 regular-season games since joining the Giants in 2018. He finished his career in New York after only three starts, compiling 27 combined tackles and one pass defended.
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Logan Ryan Talks Improving Defense
While Beal never materialized in New York, the Giants have a slew of up-and-coming defenders beginning to make a name for themselves for an improving unit, from Azeez Ojulari to Quincy Roche and reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Xavier McKinney.
After being torched readily early on in the season, the team has allowed an average of just 314.7 yards per game over their last three games — eighth-fewest in the NFL.
Safety Logan Ryan is a fan of what he’s seeing from the budding unit:
I feel pretty good. I think the areas that I’ve talked about before – red area, third down, keeping those points down, two-minute – I think those are areas of emphasis and areas we improved on. I still think we can improve our tackling. We’ve been getting more turnovers, which is always the goal of defense, to get them off the field and make them kick field goals if they’re in that position and get the ball. We’ve been doing a better job of that and we’ve got to continue doing that.
Speaking to (Raiders Quarterback) Derek Carr a lot and (Raiders Quarterback) Marcus Mariota, who I’m close friends with, they had trouble with our disguise, so I think that’s getting better and that just takes time to work on that. We saw that kind of happen last year as the season progressed. It just takes reps with the unit to work on disguise to make it better and make it hard on these really good quarterbacks. We’ve had a stretch of a bunch of them lately.