Beason will be back in middle for Giants’ defense
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Jon Beason is going be back in the middle of the New York Giants’ defense, and he is going to have help at the linebacker spot.
The Giants confirmed Friday that they re-signed Beason and later said they also signed former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain.
The team did not disclose contract details, but reports said Beason got $19 million over three years. Terms of McClain’s deal were not immediately available.
The moves shore up the linebacking position with the team having already given a tender to restricted free agent Spencer Paysinger, the weakside linebacker.
The Giants also announced they re-signed fullback Henry Hynoski.
Beason came to the Giants in a midseason trade with the Carolina Panthers and stabilized the defense. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker had 98 tackles after joining the team in the sixth game of the season. New York’s defense finished eighth in the league overall after being near the bottom.
”You know how when you pick up a good book and it’s good because they develop a character and there’s always some type of turmoil, something bad happens,” Beason said. ”And then the character has to come out and overcome it and then it’s like, `Man, that was a really good read.’ For me, I think it just made my career story better, having to overcome some things.
”You come out, you get drafted high, you start making Pro Bowls and become the highest-paid player, All-Pro and all that stuff. That’s a boring book. For me, I feel like it’s prepared me for what’s still to come. If you’re going to lead men, especially at this level, you have to be battle-tested.”
Undrafted after college, McLain has played in 87 regular-season games with 55 starts and in nine postseason games with three starts. In six seasons with Baltimore, McClain had 338 tackles (214 solo), 4 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. He also had 60 special teams tackles.
”It’s an opportunity,” McClain said. ”I believe in opportunity and I believe that everything happens for a reason. Now I get a chance to re-create myself. I get a chance to re-create my own identity without being placed with any label. No disrespect to anything that I’ve been through or anybody anywhere else, but when you get into this position you have to choose the best for your family, the best for your career, the best for your longevity. This was one of those circumstances for me where I could come here and create myself and compete and be the player that I want to be or the player that I can be.
Beason was limited to five games in 2011 and ’12 because of injuries and he was relegated to a backup role after three games in 2013. The Panthers were willing to take a seventh-round draft pick from the Giants for Beason, who was the 25th pick overall in the 2007 draft.
”You go through some stuff, you feel like you’re getting dragged through the mud and all of a sudden you just keep fighting, fighting. And then you come out clean on the other side,” Beason said. ”For me, a fresh start was great. But obviously I know who I am and what I’ve already accomplished, so why can’t I continue to do that? I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.”
McClain is familiar with injuries. He started the first 13 games of the 2012 season before injuring his neck at Washington on Dec. 9. He was inactive the following week, sitting out for the first time in his career and snapping a streak of 77 consecutive games played.
He was sidelined for the Ravens’ four-game postseason run in 2012, including their victory in Super Bowl XLVII, because he was on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion.
”I missed that, so I really don’t have a ring,” he said. ”I feel I have a chance to win one with his organization. Winning is everything. If you’re in this game, you should only be playing to win and to compete. Without that, what are we left with? A bunch of numbers on the board? It really doesn’t mean anything. I play this game to win, I play this game for respect and this organization does that at the highest level. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
McClain missed the start of last season recovering from his injury. He started all 10 games in which he played and had 50 tackles (27 solo) and a forced fumble.
Hynoski, who suffered a knee injury in an offseason team activity in May, missed most of last season after a shoulder injury in third regular-season game.
”I’m finally 100 percent healthy now,” Hynoski said. ”I’m ready to go. I’m just extremely anxious to get back on the field. It was a humbling year.”
Hynoski will have to compete with John Conner for the fullback job. Conner started seven of the 13 games.
”This is where I was comfortable, and luckily everything worked out,” said Hynoski, who made the Giants as a free agent in 2011. ”The Giants had a mutual feeling, the same feeling I had about them. They wanted me back, I wanted to be back here and I’m glad it worked out.”
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