The New York Giants will be a very different football team next season.
In a massive roster purge Wednesday morning, the team released former starting left tackle Will Beatty and starting guard Geoff Schwartz. Starting middle linebacker Jon Beason is also on the way out but that may come in the form of retirement.
After a breakout 2012 season, Beatty signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract in February of 2013, with the hope that he could be the team's left tackle of the future. Injury got in the way, however, which served as the underlying theme for so many of the Giants' high profile cuts this week.
Beatty missed all of the 2015 season with a torn pectoral and carried a cap number of $9.175 million for the upcoming season. Schwartz, who signed a four-year, $16.8 million deal in 2014, re-worked his deal after injury cut his first season in East Rutherford short as well. He played 13 games in two seasons with the Giants.
Beason, who came to the team via a trade with the Carolina Panthers in 2013, helped transform a dead-in-the-water defense and was made a high offseason priority the next year despite a history of injuries, including microfracture surgery. He wound up playing 21 games in roughly three seasons. At 31, Beason is out after nine seasons in the NFL. Injuries aside, hewas one of the best pure linebackers in the NFL over the past decade, making three Pro Bowl teams and earning one first-team All-Pro selection in Carolina.
The Giants are looking to usher in a younger, faster brand of football under new head coach Ben McAdoo and this is unfortunately the downside of spending big in free agency. The team drafted Ereck Flowers with the No. 9 overall pick last year with the plans that he will carry the left tackle job for years to come. That may be the only smooth transition we see in New York this year, as Flowers had an entire season to play and learn.
General manager Jerry Reese will save about $12 million in cap space, but will need to work overtime in order to address the middle linebacker, guard and right tackle spots for 2016.