New York Giants: Two secondary members that may be training camp cuts

rodarius williams, new york giants

The New York Giants have a lot of new additions, and they won’t be able to enter the 2021 season with everyone that they had on the roster last year. There just isn’t enough space, and both old and new players are in danger of becoming cuts during training camp and the preseason.

One of the most competitive spots is the secondary. There’s both new talent here and a lot of names returning, meaning the Giants will have a lot of options when deciding who gets time in the rotation. But which players are in danger of not making the final 90 man roster at all?

Sam Beal

One of the obvious names on the hot seat is Sam Beal. Of course, not all of it is his fault. He hasn’t had the start to his career that any player would ask for. Injury threw Beal off course for his first couple of seasons but the Giants have had enough faith in his potential to keep him around.

However, Beal only has 26 total tackles in the NFL even after getting over his injuries. He opted out of last season entirely, so there’s no body of work from 2020 to use when judging his play.

He also plead guilty in a gun case last week which places him on probation until 2022, and while it seems like he’s out of hot water legally for now, there’s no telling whether or not that will affect the Giants’ judgement when it comes to making a decision on him.

All in all, Beal has been around for a while and hasn’t done much for the Giants. He’ll really have to work to prove himself this offseason if he doesn’t want to end up with the players cut to save space, mainly for the simple reason that he’s showed little on the field progression for various reasons despite being with the Giants for years. Some of it isn’t his fault, but that doesn’t change the situation at hand.

Rodarius Williams

Supposedly, Rodarius Williams is a player with upside.

That may be true, but he’s still a sixth round draft pick at the end of the day. The Giants decided to bet on his potential and select him, but they aren’t tied to the pick like they would be in the case of a higher drafted player.

If Williams doesn’t make the roster, it may not be through fault of his own. Between Isaac Yiadom, new signing Joshua Kalu, Darnay Holmes, the aforementioned Beal, and fellow rookie Aaron Robinson, there’s a lot of names competing for a limited amount of spots at cornerback.

The Giants have enough talent at the position that they probably aren’t going to keep every player at the position right now on the 90 man roster.

All in all, it means that Williams will have to adapt his aggressive playing style to the NFL quickly and perform well in training camp, to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves a spot over a more established player despite his low draft status.

New York Giants: 3 questions that will be answered during training camp

New York Giants, Sam Beal

The New York Giants finished mandatory minicamp on Thursday, and while they have OTA’s next week, the next month or so will be quiet. As we wait for training camp to start, the Giants have plenty of unanswered questions they must find solutions to in the near future. While they did allocate plenty of resources toward bolstering multiple units, there are a few depth pieces and starting spots open for the taking, and it all depends on individual performances during joint practices and preseason.

Some of the position battles that will ensue will be competitive, and that is exactly what you want when it comes to maximizing talent and extracting the most potential from a given player.

Three questions for the New York Giants during training camp:

1.) Can Sam Beal save his career with Big Blue?

The Giants have a plethora of corners capable of stepping in and making an impact, and considering they recently signed Adoree Jackson to a three-year, $39 million deal, some players will be fighting for a roster spot. One of those defensive backs is Sam Beal, who has missed the past three seasons due to injury and opting out at the 2020 campaign due to Covid.

The Giants currently have Julian love, Isaac Yiadom, Aaron Robinson, and Rodarius Williams competing for starting reps, so Beal could easily be the odd man out. Beal is set to earn $1.1 million this upcoming season, but would count 524K against the cap if he is cut. Big Blue ultimately wouldn’t save much, if anything, by releasing him, but they could look to offer a different player and opportunity where Beal has simply missed out on opportunities.

2.) Who will emerge as the starting OLB pair?

One of the most exciting position battles will be at outside linebacker this training camp. The Giants added four new players to the position, including Azeez  Ojulari, Elerson Smith, Ryan Anderson, and Ifeadi Odenigbo. There isn’t a penciled-in starter just yet, and with both Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines returning from injury, this should be one of the more exciting competitions of the summer. Any of these players could walk away with starting reps in week one, but I imagine they would likely roll with a rotation to start the year and see who has the hot hand.

3.) Who will win the RT battle?

Another big question is at right tackle, where Matt Peart and Solder will battle it out for starting reps. Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid, similar to Beal, and having missed an entire year of action and learning the new scheme, it will take him quite some time to get into shape. In addition, he will be making the transition to right tackle, a position he hasn’t played since 2011 during his rookie season. Peart added significant muscle this off-season and showed flares of quality in the run game, but needs to develop as a pass blocker if he wants to remain a starter at the NFL level.

Solder made it clear that he was happy with his situation, and whoever starts deserves it, pledging his veteran experience and leadership to his teammates. While I expect a competitive battle at RT, it seems Solder is perfectly fine letting Peart secure the starting job right off the bat.

“Who cares who starts?” Solder said. “I just want to be a part of an excellent group that’s getting better every day, that plays at a really high level. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great O-lines and nobody cares who is starting and who is not starting because we’re all part of the team and we’re all necessary and we’re all needed.

 

New York Giants CB Sam Beal pleads guilty in legal case from 2020

New York Giants, Sam Beal

New York Giants cornerback Sam Beal will have one less thing pressing on his mind while he competes for a spot at the competitive position this year. He came into this offseason with a legal case still pending after he was arrested in Ohio last year, but that looks settled after he plead guilty and entered probation.

According to records reported on by NorthJersey.com, Beal plead guilty last Friday in exchange for two years of probation which will allow him to avoid a conviction on his record. The original arrest, which happened last June, took place near Cleveland and saw Beal charged with illegally carrying a concealed weapon as well as marijuana possession and the improper handling of a firearm.

With this out of the way, it seems like there won’t be anything keeping Beal from playing this season. Despite the ongoing case, after all, the Giants kept him on the roster. It looks unlikely that the guilty plea will affect his standing with the team, since the Giants haven’t done anything about the situation so far.

Their decision contrasts with how they handled the situation with DeAndre Baker, but the far more minor nature of this case compared to the accused armed robbery saga that Baker was wrapped up in has likely played a part in that fact.

Beal missed last season after opting out, and will have to compete just to stay on the roster after playing in far less games than he should have since being drafted. He’s largely struggled with injury, and his opt out last season continues the trend of him not getting on the field.

With the cornerback position getting far more competitive since when the Giants brought him on, he’ll have to be on the top of his game to avoid ending up on the list of roster cuts before the season.

New York Giants: Positions To Keep An Eye On With Cuts Around The Corner

New York Giants

The New York Giants will set their fifty-three man roster in a week from today. Over this next week, the team will be determining who will stay and who will go. The Giants do have a few positions of need, and they also have few positions of strength. Ahead of camp cuts, which positions are worth keeping a close eye on?

UDFA Wide Receivers

Behind Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate, the Giants have a positional battle at the wide receiver position. Corey Coleman will be competing with a number of rookie wide receivers to win the fourth wide receiver position.

New York has four undrafted free agent wide receivers currently on the roster. Derrick Dillon, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Cody White were all signed by the Giants this offseason. They have all had their fair share of ups and downs in camp, but Victor and Mack have had a few more standout plays.

There are also two other receivers making their names known in camp: David Stills and Alex Bachman. Both players have impressed in practice and could earn themselves a spot on the final roster. For all of these wide receivers, this next week of practice is crucial.

New York Giants Have $21M In Cap Space – Should They Spend It?

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants have seen their salary cap space expand recently. The team had three players officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns, freeing up plenty of money for Big Blue. Nate Solder, Sam Beal, and Damari Scott were the three players who opted out.

Now, according to Field Yates of ESPN, the Giants have the twelfth-most salary cap space in the NFL post-opt-outs. New York is sitting with $21,441,129 in cap space available. That is a considerable amount of money, but Joe Judge made it clear this week that the Giants “don’t feel like [they] have money burning a hole in [their] pocket.”

Joe Judge indicated that the team was not planning on spending this money. But that was before DeAndre Baker’s prosecution became official and before Sam Beal opted out of the season. The Giants have a huge hole to fill at cornerback and they might be wise to reach into their pocket in order to fill that hole.

Why Should They Spend It?

If the Giants spend this money, they need to get a player in a serious position of need. The biggest weaknesses on this roster are at center and cornerback. But the Giants seem content with what they have at the center position, preparing Nick Gates to compete with Spencer Pulley and Shane Lemieux for that job.

The Giants have a few young guys at cornerback that could fill the role, but their inexperience could lead to a season full of struggles. Last year, the Giants rolled into the season with a young stable of defensive backs. Week after week, the team’s secondary was torn to shreds. The Giants would be wise to sign another veteran cornerback to their roster for the 2020 season.

There are some notable veteran cornerbacks available on the free-agent market. The biggest name is Logan Ryan, a former New England Patriot and Tennessee Titan. Ryan’s time spent in New England gives him a connection to Joe Judge. Other notable free-agent cornerbacks include Ross Cockrell (formerly of the Giants and then the Panthers, giving him a connection to James Bradberry), and Dre Kirkpatrick.

If the Giants were to sign Logan Ryan, he could provide a huge boost to the team’s defense. Ryan totaled 13 combined tackles, 8 quarterback hits, 18 passes defended, 4.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions. His sack total would have ranked second on the Giants in 2019. Ryan is versatile with the ability to play in the slot or outside. More importantly, Ryan has experience, something the Giants’ defense lacks.

Why Shouldn’t They Spent It?

If the Giants decide to pursue a player like Logan Ryan, he will not come cheap. Ryan is asking for over $10 million, which would just about cut their cap space in half. The Giants could hold onto their money and allow it to roll over into 2021.

New York also needs to get its younger players more experience. Signing a veteran cornerback would take valuable snaps and playing time away from younger guys, such as Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Darnay Holmes. Sometimes, the best way to learn is through experience. Failure can be a great teacher (see Dagobah scene in Empire Strikes Back).

These young defensive backs have plenty to learn, and much of it can only be learned on an NFL football field going against the toughest competition. These young guys are the future of the Giants’ defense. Getting them the live experience now will help them develop in the long run. After all, the Giants are a rebuilding team with plenty of young players. It might not be in the best interest of a rebuilding team to spend significant money on a 29-year-old cornerback.

New York Giants: 3 players on the roster to supplement loss of Sam Beal at cornerback

New York Giants, Julian Love

The New York Giants lost one of their cornerbacks on Wednesday, as third-year player Sam Beal opted out of the 2020 season. While we don’t know what personal issues might have been the cause, Beal will lose out on a fantastic opportunity to gain some lost ground after spending the last two seasons predominantly injured.

Of course, we wish him well and hope his family isn’t affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, his departure opens the door for multiple players to lock down the CB2 spot.

Let’s take a look at three players on the roster the New York Giants could elevate:

1.) Darnay Holmes

When entering the NFL, most penciled Darnay Holmes in as the Giants’ starting nickel corner. Interestingly, Holmes never played slot corner in college, he only earned a few reps during the Senior Bowl. After being coined the best nickel corner in the draft by analysts, without ever seeing live reps there, the Giants shouldn’t feel the need to stick him at the position immediately. With Beal and DeAndre Baker likely missing the 2020 campaign, Holmes should be given the opportunity to compete at CB2.

Holmes has a similar frame to former Giant Janoris Jenkins (5-foot-10, 195-pounds), so the idea that he is too small is completely untrue. Holmes is a competitive athlete who has a great character. His leadership mentality and great tangible traits make him a primed player to take a stab at the void position. However, I believe he should compete in the slot as well.

In 2019, he played on a high ankle sprain with UCLA. His toughness and grit are at the forefront of his positive qualities, and I believe he has the drive to earn an opportunity at CB2 and at nickle.

With that being said, he is still somewhat of a raw prospect that needs some refinement. Adapting to NFL size and speed is not an easy task, as Sterling Shepard showed him a few weeks ago during a training session. Shepard’s quick-twitch abilities were too much for Holmes, who was left tracking Shepard a few steps behind. Camp should give him ample experience and reps against NFL talent, which will prove to be essential in his progress toward becoming a starter.

New York Giants: Top Players/Positions To Monitor In Training Camp 2020

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Football is back! The New York Giants officially reported to training camp on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. Veterans reported to training camp today as the team does its first wave of COVID-19 testing. This will be a crucial season for the Giants as they enter the year with a brand new coaching staff and a revamped roster.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no preseason this year, making training camp that much more important. Many of those players who standout in the preseason to earn their roster spots will not be afforded such an opportunity this year. Instead, the Giants’ new coaching staff will have to gauge their players’ talents in training camp alone.

With that being the case, who are the top players, or what are the top positions to watch during training camp in 2020?

You can check out the video version of this article below, or continue scrolling for the written version:

Can the New York Giants trust Sam Beal at cornerback?

New York Giants, Sam Beal

Come the start of the regular season, and the New York Giants might be deploying Sam Beal as their number two cornerback. With DeAndre Baker still facing legal issues and the Giants wanting nothing to do with him until those are resolved, they will have to find a supplement. Beal seems like the obvious choice to answer the call, but he doesn’t have much live experience due to a number of injuries.

Beal was selected in the supplemental draft by general manager Dave Gettleman in 2018, who spent a third-round pick for his services. A known injury to his shoulder forced the young defender to undergo surgery before even hitting the training facilities. This required him to sit out for his entire rookie season. In 2019, he was limited to just six games due to injuries but showed some promise.

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What did Sam Beal show the New York Giants in 2020?

At 6-foot-1 and 177-pounds, Beal doesn’t have the ideal size for a boundary corner. He’s a bit thin and raw, but he has the athleticism to compensate for a lack of size. He actually might be a better fit at nickel corner, but the Giants need him to develop on the outside.

During his small sample size last year, he allowed 171 yards and one touchdown on a 76.2 completion percentage. He did rack up 26 combined tackles, and one pass defended. Ultimately, his experience is so limited, it is difficult to make a judgment on his quality.

I would be remiss not to mention his performance against the Miami Dolphins. He racked up 11 tackles and a momentum-shifting safety, where the corner was aggressive — flying down-hill and stopping Patrick Laird in the end-zone.

Concerns remain

The concerning part is his lack of experience. The Giants were relying on Baker to bounce back from a tough rookie campaign. The former first-round pick was utilized in a heavy zone scheme, which is far from his strength. New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham utilizes man coverage 50% of the time, which should benefit Baker in a theoretical scenario.

However, new information regarding his legal case has bubbled to the surface. It could be a while before any arraignment occurs. With training camp starting in a few weeks, Beal is currently expected to slide in next to number one corner, James Bradberry.

There are positives when it comes to Beal. For example, he only allowed 20 yards after the catch, which indicates he kept his receivers in front of him and did not allow big plays to occur.

The best course of action for the Giants is to institute a position battle. They currently have Corey Ballentine, Julian love, and Beal available. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Darnay Holmes in the mix, either. While the de-facto option would be Sam, bringing out the best in him includes activating his competitive nature.

New York Giants: Replacement Options For DeAndre Baker

New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love

The New York Giants are once again in the news for the wrong reasons. Second-year cornerback DeAndre Baker has been dealing with quite a bit of legal trouble this offseason that has been made very public news. In May, Baker was accused of armed robbery. Since then, the little bits of news and updates on Baker’s legal situation have been mostly positive. Information was even brought to light that indicated Baker was innocent.

Those who accused Baker of these crimes eventually recanted their statements. But now, according to a report by Pat Leonard, a search warrant obtained exclusively by the NY Daily News seems to indicate that Baker had a payoff cover-up that further implicates him in the crime.

After the warrant by the NY Daily News was made public, reports stated that the Giants are expected to cut DeAndre Baker. Without DeAndre Baker on the Giants’ roster, there is a major hole at the Giants’ second outside cornerback position. Who could fill that role for the Giants on short notice in 2020?

Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan is a veteran slot cornerback who had a statistically incredible 2019 season as a member of the Tennessee Titans. As a cornerback, Ryan totaled an insane 113 combined tackles last season. Ryan was also a tremendous playmaker, forcing a career-high 4 fumbles, racking up another career-high 14 passes defended while also adding 4 interceptions.

Ryan has been in the NFL for seven seasons. He spent his first four years in New England before signing with the Tennessee Titans in 2017. Over the years, Logan Ryan has been one of the most consistent nickel cornerbacks in the NFL, but he is also capable of playing on the outside.

According to Pro Football Focus, “Ryan is by no means an elite slot corner — in fact, he surrendered over 1,000 yards in coverage in 2019 and was constantly picked on.” The former Titans corner might be past his prime, but PFF concedes he is “still an average player at the position — he was the 48th most valuable corner in 2019.”

Acquiring Logan Ryan’s talents would not come cheap, though. The cornerback reportedly “is not willing to accept less than $10 million annually.” The Giants might not have the cap space available to comfortably sign Ryan at the moment, however, if the team does decide to cut DeAndre Baker, Logan Ryan’s contract will become much more affordable.

Sam Beal

The Giants had high hopes when they selected Sam Beal in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft. So far, he has not exactly lived up to expectations. Injuries held Beal back in his first two seasons, but he was not overly impressive when he found the field.

Sam Beal played in 6 games and started 3 games in 2019. In those games, Beal allowed a 76.2% completion percentage when targeted. He allowed opposing receivers to gain 171 yards and 1 touchdown. Opposing quarterbacks recorded a passer rating of 115.4 against Sam Beal. If Beal is going to replace DeAndre Baker, the Giants will need him to improve his performance significantly.

Julian Love

Julian Love started five games at safety for the Giants in 2019. He was expected to continue in a rotational safety role in 2020, but expectations have been subverted by DeAndre Baker’s incident. This makes Julian Love a potential option at outside cornerback.

Julian Love played safety as a rookie in the NFL, but he played cornerback in college. At that position, Love recorded 32 pass breakups and 4 interceptions over his last two years at Notre Dame.

“Pure and simple, Love is a cover guy who possesses the feet, hips, instincts and competitiveness you want in a corner.” – NFL.com analyst Lance Zierelein

New York Giants: Sam Beal is next man up if DeAndre Baker misses time

New York Giants, Sam Beal

New York Giants’ DeAndre Baker’s case is still going through the appeal process, hopefully, all checks out and Baker is innocent. DeAndre Baker’s lawyer has filed a not guilty plea for all eight charges in his armed robbery and aggravated assault case.

His lawyer Bradford Cohen stated on Instagram:

“We have affidavits from several witnesses that also dispute the allegations and exculpate our client.”

The New York Giants might start the 2020 season without their second-year cornerback who never gave up a coverage touchdown pass in college. In college, DeAndre was used to playing man/pressed coverage. Under defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Baker was involved in a lot of zone coverage. This was something new to Baker, he struggled tremendously while playing zone. Now, this is a huge blow for the Giants’ secondary, there were a lot of expectations for Baker in year two after a tough rookie season. A lot of teams took advantage of the Giants’ defense and Baker in 2019. Left Baker alone on an island with a team’s top receiver. If he is not back in time for the 2020 season, Sam Beal will have to take charge and fill the shoes of Baker. I think Beal should get a shot even if Baker is back. Beal has battled injuries his whole NFL career, 2020 could be a breakout year for Beal in my mind. 

Sam Beal was drafted in the third round of the supplemental draft back in 2018. His rookie season was cut short due to a shoulder injury just two weeks into training camp. At Western Michigan, Beal was a very productive quality player. In three seasons at Western Michigan, Beal played in 37 games with 23 total starts.  In 2017, Beal started all 11 games, he also had the highest coverage grade in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) during that season. This is not a fluke season, Beal has the skillset and athleticism to play ball in the NFL.

Sam Beal Profile

Sam Beal fits the ideal NFL cornerback stereotype, 6’1″, 177 pounds, and ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. With explosive speed, Beal could be a lockdown corner in the NFL, it ultimately depends on if he is healthy or not. In 2019, the Giants finally got to see Beal in action, but only for six games. In those six games, Beal started in three of them, and recorded 20 solo tackles and a safety! Pretty impressive, it’s not easy to come back to a deflated defense and make bigtime plays.

What Sam Beal needs to work on

If Sam Beal wants to be a big part of the New York Giants’ defense, he needs to limit his completion percentage allowed. In 2019, Beal allowed 16 completed passes when targeted and over 170 yards allowed on those completions. A 76.2% completion percentage allowed is not going to help the Giants’ defense.

What we can expect from Sam Beal

Sam Beal is a scrappy corner who can be used in the box or even in the slot. Having a speedster in the secondary will give the Giants a huge boost, even if Baker returns. Beal could ear a lot of reps through training camp. If Baker is suspended or released from the team, Beal will get a chance to prove himself as a valuable piece on the defense. Hopefully, there are no injury concerns for Beal in 2020, the Giants would love to have him on the field.