After missing the entire 2015 season due to injury, offensive tackle Will Beatty has been released by the New York Giants, according to the team.
A second-round pick by the Giants in 2009, Beatty has spent his entire career with the franchise. He signed a five-year contract extension in 2013 worth up to $38.75 million, including $19 million in guaranteed money.
Beatty's future came into question last year when he suffered a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery and caused him to miss the entire season.
The 30-year-old was scheduled to make $6.6 million with a cap hit of $9.175 million, according to Spotrac.
Raanan reported last November, when Beatty wasn't going to be activated off the PUP list, the Giants would save $4.175 million against the cap if he were to be released this offseason.
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com wrote the Giants did have alternatives in place to move ahead without Beatty and the onus was on him to decide what he wanted to do:
If the Giants think Flowers is better at right tackle, they could bring back Beatty and play him on the left for one more year. The price really isn't bad for a starting left tackle. But I think the Giants are planning to move ahead with Flowers on the left side, and if Beatty really wants to play there, he's unlikely to accept the pay cut he'd need to take to stay with the Giants and play on the right.
Even though the Giants' offensive line struggled last season, as Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus graded out the group as the NFL's 20th-best, with Ereck Flowers and Marshall Newhouse being called the "worst tackle pairing in the league," the team had to start looking toward the future.
This is a team loaded with cap space, projected by OverTheCap.com to have had nearly $43 million available before releasing Beatty. Being able to build a roster around a still-productive veteran quarterback and a talented young offensive core with Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle and Will Tye is a quality jump on getting the organization back to the sport's pinnacle.
Beatty had a successful seven-year stint with the Giants, highlighted by a Super Bowl XLVI win, but it was time for the two sides to part. The Giants get a clean break in time to address their offensive line in free agency and/or the draft.
While leaving the only franchise he's ever known will sting, Beatty has been given the opportunity to choose his new home and will certainly have his share of suitors as a strong, proven left tackle with some productive years ahead of him.