The New York Giants need help.
We've seen it for quite some time, but at least it appears an intervention won't be necessary because the team is admitting it has a problem by trading for veteran linebacker Jon Beason.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports was the first to report that a deal was in the works Thursday night, and it became official when the former first-round pick passed a physical on Friday. In return, the Panthers will get a late-round draft pick in 2014.
This can't possibly hurt, mainly because the Giants can't get any worse. They aren't giving up a lot, and Beason is only costing them about $1 million. The three-time Pro Bowler is scheduled to become a free agent this upcoming offseason.
So this isn't necessarily a bad gamble, but it does indicate that the Giants have become desperate.
Don't count on Beason to come in and sweep Giants fans off their feet. He missed virtually the entire 2011 season due to a torn Achilles tendon and played in only four games last year before microfracture surgery on his right knee in October ended his season.
Yes, he's "back" this year, but he was graded by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) as the worst defensive player on the Panthers while playing fewer than 50 percent of the snaps during the first two weeks. He was benched in favor of Chase Blackburn Week 3 against the Giants.
That's right, the same Chase Blackburn whom the Giants decided against re-signing this past offseason had begun to get more playing time in Carolina than the guy the Giants traded for.
It's enough to make you wonder if they originally asked former Big Blue pro personnel director and current Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman if they could get Blackburn back.
But this is a new reclamation project at linebacker. Blackburn worked out to a small degree, and Keith Rivers has done enough to retain a starting job within the league's weakest linebacking corps. Aaron Curry couldn't cut it, and the odds aren't in Beason's favor.
Recovering from microfracture surgery isn't a walk in the park. The Giants should know that as well as anyone, based on their experiences with Fred Robbins, Steve Smith, Rich Seubert, Chris Canty and Kenny Phillips.
We spoke to Bleacher Report sports medicine lead writer Will Carroll about just how daunting said surgery is:
It's tough because the success rate is low. It's about a 50/50 proposal. If you're not already at a pretty high level, you just don't seem to come back from it, and nobody's really sure why. A lot of speculation has been about the weight. You put that much weight on your knees, I don't care what you do, it's going to grind, and it's going to get worse.
Keep in mind, too, that the Giants are already extremely banged up. The team's Wednesday injury report contained 15 names, which is almost a third of the roster. Carroll worries that adding microfracture cases like Beason could be problematic for the medical staff:
They've already got a number of players with chronic conditions—guys who are going to need a lot of maintenance, guys who are going to have to spend time in the training room, guys who are going to miss practice fairly regularly. And by adding to it, there's only so many hours you can work in a day. And I don't know how close the medical staff is to the breaking point, but you're just adding to that load, and at one point there is a breaking point. If you have to be maintaining guys constantly, you can't do the preventative work, and then you end up with more injuries. You go into a death spiral.
The good news is that the Giants are basically admitting they screwed up in recent offseasons and are displaying a lot of humility by tinkering with the roster four weeks into what appears to be a lost season. Beason will have a chance to audition now for a long-term role in New York, just as Rivers and Curry did.
The trade for Beason might not pan out, but it definitely beats stubbornly pretending that you have all the answers.
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