New York Giants cornerback Sam Beal has pled guilty to gun-related charges stemming from a June 2020 arrest that apparently came just a few days before he opted out of the 2020 NFL season, according to reporting from New Jersey Advance Media.
Also per the report, Beal entered into a pre-trial diversion program and was placed on two years of probation that will run until June of 2022.
Here is more from the NJ Advance Media report:
Beal was arrested on June 2 last year, according to court records. Beal was pulled over by police due to a traffic violation and was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle and marijuana possession.
He was indicted on the gun charges on Aug. 13, which was eight days after he opted out of the 2020 NFL season, as allowed by the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
To say the least, the situation has to darken the cloud of uncertainty that was already hanging over Beal’s Giants career.
Beal has played only six games for the Giants since GM Dave Gettleman gambled by using a third-round Supplemental Draft pick on him in 2018. That meant the Giants forfeited a Round 3 pick in the regular 2019 NFL Draft.
Beal missed his rookie season with a shoulder injury, played only six games in 2019 as he was beset by leg issues and opted out due to COVID-19 a season ago.
The Giants knew at the time they were taking a gamble.
“We feel like we’re getting our third-round pick now,” Gettleman said via a release from the team after the selection of Beal. “We discussed it at length yesterday, and had a great conversation. We basically had a draft meeting in the office, with people on the speaker phone who had seen him. It was a very thorough conversation.”
What did they like about him?
“We’re very, very excited about getting Sam in the draft,” Gettleman said. “He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”
At the time, the move was favorably received by draft analysts. It simply has not paid off.
Entering this offseason, Beal would seem to be far down the Giants’ cornerback depth chart. Oddly, despite his status as a player needing to prove he deserves a roster spot and having had little exposure to Joe Judge and his staff, Beal chose not to participate in voluntary OTAs. He was on hand for this week’s mandatory mini-camp.
In light of this, you have to wonder if Beal will still be on the roster when training camp arrives at the end of July. Beal still has two years left on his four-year, $4.082 million rookie contract. Per Spotrac, should the Giants cut him they would incur $262,122 in dead money while saving $851,118.