When you're one of the few teams in football with a franchise quarterback under lock and key, it's wise to keep him protected. The New York Giants are doing just that.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the team has re-signed offensive tackle Will Beatty to a five-year deal worth as much as $38.75 million overall, according to a person who has seen the deal. Beatty will earn up to $19 million guaranteed. These are numbers that stand to hike up market value for free-agent tackles league-wide. The Giants later confirmed the deal in a statement.
"It's good to be home," Beatty told the team's official site on Wednesday. "It's a great feeling. You could be going through free agency, but when that happens a lot of stuff is going through your mind. That feeling is no longer there. You're settled in with a great team, a team I love playing for. I know the coaching staff. I'm looking forward to getting back in it and moving forward."
"We are very pleased to get a new deal done with Will," general manager Jerry Reese said. "We believe he is one of the ascending left tackles in the NFL."
New York selected Beatty in the second round of the 2009 draft. He's started 25 games at left tackle over the past two seasons and overcame a back injury last offseason to emerge as one of the team's most reliable linemen. Eli Manning's blindside protector allowed just three sacks and 22 hurries in 2012. The 27-year-old Beatty was a candidate for the franchise tag, but that would have cost New York almost $10 million this season. This turns out to be a smart signing by the Giants for a young player on the way up.
New York also has to think about what to do with receiver Victor Cruz, and questions remains along the offensive line. Left guard Kevin Boothe is set to become a free agent next month, while center David Baas, right guard Chris Snee and right tackle David Diehl all are recovering from recent surgeries.
The Giants, by the way, still have 16 unrestricted free agents on the roster.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.