Will Beatty was one of the primary culprits on the New York Giants porous offensive line in 2013, and remains one of its biggest question marks heading into the 2014 season. Let's take an in-depth look at Beatty as we continue our player-by-player breakdown of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp next month.
2013 Season In Review
Beatty's bank account had an incredible season. On the field, Beatty had an awful one. Cashing in on an excellent 2012 season, Beatty signed a five-year, $35-million contract with the Giants, $19 million of which is guaranteed. He then proceeded to make everyone wonder what GM Jerry Reese was thinking giving him that kind of money, playing atrociously in 2013.
Beatty surrendered 13 of the 40 quarterback sacks the Giants allowed last season. No other Giants lineman allowed more than five. His Pro Football Focus grade nosedived from +22.3 in 2012 to -6.3 in 2013. With a rookie starting at right tackle and constant shuffling due to injuries at the center and guard positions, the Giants needed solid play from Beatty to at least make the offensive line adequate. They did not get it.
To make matters worse, Beatty suffered a broken leg in the season finale against the Washington Redskins. That injury has cast doubt over his status entering 2014.
Beatty was good in 2011 (+5.0, four sacks allowed in 11 games) and outstanding in 2012. The Giants would like to believe that last season was an anomaly for the 29-year-old Beatty, and that he will return to form in 2014. The problem is that the broken leg has kept him off the field thus far and cast his availability in doubt heading into training camp.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said recently that Beatty "supposedly" would be ready for the fall. That has been the expectation, but Coughlin has been down this road with recovering players before and it sounds like he will believe it when he sees Beatty on the field.
For a player who admitted last season that his technique was out of whack as he tried to do too much to justify the big contract, Beatty needs practice time to fix those fundamental flaws. He also needs on-field reps as the Giants work to install a new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
Beatty likely isn't going anywhere for at least two more seasons. It would cost the Giants $15.5 million against the cap to cut him this season, and $7.5 million next season. That is far too much dead money to just let him go.
It seems hard to imagine that Beatty could be as bad in 2014 as he was last year. His prior history shows he has been a better player than that, and he has not reached a point where age should bring about a decline in his skills. He has to get back on the field first, though, and the sooner he can do that the more confident the Giants will be that 2014 will be a bounce-back season for Beatty.