The New England Patriots most important free agent priority as viewed by most beat writers and bloggers (myself included) is right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, and ESPN New York suggests that the New York Giants priority this offseason could also be a tackle, albeit on the left side. Well-connected beat writer Ohm Youngmisuk writes that Beatty “might be the Giants’ highest priority among their own free agents” which is high praise for a tackle, but it is praised that is well-deserved.
Beatty burst onto the scene in 2012 and asserted himself as one of the best 15 tackles in the NFL with solid pass blocking and even better run blocking. In fact, Beatty is one of the elite run blocking tackles in the game today and finished as one of the five highest rated run blocking tackles in the game by the Pro Football Focus. Beatty is the best offensive lineman on a solid Giants O-Line that contains solid blockers like veteran Chris Snee and fellow upcoming free agent Kevin Boothe (the Giants would also be wise to lock him up). PFF’s signature statistic Pass Blocking Efficiency is a great raw pass blocking score, and Beatty finished the 2012 season with one of the top ten totals among tackles in that category.
Youngmisuk is completely correct in his statement that Will Beaty could be the New York Giants biggest offseason priority among their free agents, because there are no other standout UFAs. Tight end Martellus Bennett, safety Kenny Phillips, and the aforementioned Boothe are key free agents for the Giants, but there isn’t much outside of those four. Phillips and Bennett are important, but they aren’t quite as valuable as a top 12 tackle in this league. Osi Umenyiora, Keith Rivers, and Rocky Bernard are significant names, but only Umenyiora had at least an average season in 2012. The Giants would also like to re-sign Domenik Hixon and kicker Lawrence Tynes (he’s a great one), but kickers aren’t priorities and neither is Hixon.
So Beatty is definitely a guy the New York Giants will want to lock up, and he has quickly emerged as one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. He is an integral piece to the offense, and he is the parallel between the Giants and Patriots free agencies. However, the Giants don’t really have any marquee free agents hitting the market like the Pats do with Wes Welker and Aqib Talib. According to most Patriots fans (of the people who answered the poll), Vollmer is the third wheel behind Talib and Welker. I would disagree with that, but Vollmer is the easiest of the three to re-sign.
As for Will Beaty, Giants fans know his impact to the team, and it will be interesting to see what kind of a deal he commands. He and Vollmer are actually at around the same level of value, but that’s only because Vollmer’s value is cut a bit by injuries.
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