The New York Giants have been lacking in the linebacking corps for years; any Big Blue fan will tell you this. They improved dramatically in that department when they acquired Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers midway through the season, but there is still room for improvement this offseason, especially since Beason himself is set to become a free agent.
cover32’s list of the NFL’s top 10 free agent linebackers features a host of players that the Giants could benefit from adding.
10. O’Brien Schofield
9. D’Qwell Jackson
8. Perry Riley
7. Mike Neal
6. Brandon Spikes
5. Jon Beason
4. Daryl Smith
3. Karlos Dansby
2. Jason Worilds
1. Brian Orakpo
Only one, however, looks like a fit and a possibility for the Giants via free agency. Of course, that man would be Beason, who finished the 2013 season with New York.
The former Pro Bowl linebacker should be the top priority for the G-Men this offseason. The change his presence made on the Giants defense was huge and they’re going to need him in the middle in 2014.
Yes, his health should be a concern, and that should not his price tag down. But Beason wants to be in New York and they should be able to cut a deal that works for both sides.
In just 12 games with the team, Beason led the way with 93 tackles. He was a present, physical force against the run and helped sparked a stretch of defensive performances that included shutting down top rushers LeSean McCoy (twice), Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte.
Beason is the player the Giants have been lacking at middle linebacker for years—no offense to Chase Blackburn—and they’d be missing out if they let him go to another team. They’ll need him even more next season as it’s unlikely stout run-stopping defensive tackle Linval Joseph will be back with Big Blue after this offseason.