Giants surprisingly cut promising 6th-round linebacker

nfl: preseason-carolina panthers at new york giants, darrian beavers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Giants finalized their 53-man roster, making some intriguing decisions along the way. One area that drew particular attention was the linebacker unit, featuring Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, Micah McFadden, Bobby Okereke, and the recently acquired Isaiah Simmons.

The Giants traded for Simmons, an athletic marvel, sending a seventh-round draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals and absorbing $1 million of his 2023 salary. Simmons boasts the ability to play multiple positions but has found it challenging to secure a regular role in recent seasons. While the Giants aim to maximize his skill set, his arrival marks the departure of a former draft pick.

The Giants Release Darrian Beavers: A Surprising Move

In a move that raised eyebrows, the Giants released 2022 6th-round pick Darrian Beavers from Cincinnati this Tuesday. Beavers had 53 snaps in the preseason, recording five tackles, two stops, and surrendering 10 yards in coverage on a single reception.

Beavers, who suffered a torn ACL during his rookie season, had shown promise. However, the Giants believe their linebacker unit is sufficiently robust without him, primarily because he doesn’t contribute much on special teams. With Brown and Coughlin already solid in that department, Beavers might clear waivers and join the practice squad, furthering his development until he’s ready for the main stage.

Will Beavers Stick Around?

Considering Beavers is recovering from a significant injury, other teams might hesitate to take a chance on him. This could very well mean that he remains with the Giants in East Rutherford for the 2023 season.

Projected Starters: McFadden and Okereke Step Up

In addition to Okereke, McFadden is pegged to serve as a primary starter. Although his rookie season had its ups and downs, McFadden saw action in 435 total snaps, accumulating 35 tackles and allowing 269 yards and a touchdown across 22 receptions.

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McFadden’s Preseason Performance: A Sign of Growth?

During this preseason, McFadden was on the field for 30 snaps. His contributions included creating one pressure, making two tackles, and giving up just six yards in coverage over a single reception.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), McFadden earned some of the best grades on the team, but the small sample size makes it challenging to gauge whether this will carry over into the regular season. Nevertheless, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is optimistic about McFadden’s development. He’s been the projected starter since training camp, which is promising for his playing time going forward.

The Giants’ recent roster moves give us a glimpse into the team’s evolving strategy, particularly within the linebacker group. How these decisions will impact the upcoming season remains to be seen, but they certainly add an element of intrigue.