The NFL free agent market for offensive tackles became more interesting on Wednesday when we learned that a couple of veteran starters will likely be available. Ryan Clady of the New York Jets is a player we have already discussed. Today’s let’s focus on Kelvin Beachum, left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars who appears headed for free agency after the Jaguars decided on Wednesday not to pick up his option.
Beachum doesn’t have the resume of Clady, a four-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro. He is, however, quite possibly a far more intriguing option for the New York Giants.
- Beachum will be 28 next season. Clady will be 31.
- Beachum did miss 10 games due to a torn ACL in 2015, but his injury history isn’t nearly as long as Clady’s. Of 64 potential regular-season games since 2013, Clady has played in only 27. That’s 37 missed games.
The folks at SB Nation’s Jaguars blog, Big Cat Country, are not happy about Tom Coughlin’s decision not to pick up Beachum’s four-year, $35 million option.
Beachum had a solid season coming back from an ACL tear in 2015 and entering the 2017 season improvement in his play should be expected wherever he plays. Fact of the matter is, the Jaguars created an unnecessary hole on their roster. They had a solid left tackle and now they have to spend unnecessary risk and resources trying to not only replace him but get better.
Hmmm ... “solid left tackle.” Sounds like something the Giants might be in the market for.
Truth is, Beachum did not have a great 2016. His Pro Football Focus grade of 44.3 was, in fact worse than the 48.4 PFF gave Ereck Flowers and only slightly better than the 41.0 grade given to Bobby Hart.
There is, however, a belief that Beachum’s struggles were due in part to 2016 being his first season back from his knee surgery and that he could return to form going forward. His PFF grades in 2014 and 2015 were 85.6 and 77.7, respectively. The Jaguars did not want to pick up his option, which would have carried a cap hit of $8.5 million in 2017, to find out.
Beachum is not a free agent until March 9, and between now and then Jacksonville could negotiate a deal to keep him at a lower price. If they don’t, is Beachum a player you would be interested in seeing the Giants pursue?