Former New York Giants left tackle Will Beatty could find his way to Seattle, if he’s healthy.
Before Will Beatty suffered a torn pectoral muscle last spring, followed by a torn rotator cuff which required season-ending surgery, he was considered one of the more talented left tackles in the NFL. Released by the Giants in February, he now finds himself an injured free agent without any demand for his services.
And all that may be playing right into the Seattle Seahawks hands.
Beatty is expected to work out for teams next month, in advance of the NFL Draft, to prove he’s healthy and ready to play again. But now, there’s really only one team still in the market for a good left tackle. Yep, the Seahawks.
Beatty worked his way into the Giants lineup his first two years playing a combination of right tackle, special teams, and even as a situational blocking tight end. By the 2011 season he had won the starting LT job. There were injuries along the way, a broken leg, a sciatic nerve issue, even a detached retina…. but when he was on the field he was very good. After the 2012 season, Pro Football Focus graded him as the 2nd best left tackle in the league behind All Pro Joe Staley. He was thought of as a guy equally adept at pass and run blocking. At 6’6″ and 319 pounds, with nearly 35″ arms, he look like a prototype for the position. He’s extremely athletic and should be a good candidate for the zone blocking scheme Seattle runs.
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But most of all he’s available, and should come cheap.
Prior to the 2013 season, the Giants rewarded Beatty with a 5 year deal worth $38.75 million. But then he was injured, and released. He’s now 31 years old, coming off major surgery, and the market for veteran LT’s has nearly vanished. He almost makes too much sense for Seattle.
The general consensus at the moment is that the Seahawks may move RT Gary Gilliam to the left side and give newly-signed J’Marcus Webb and any rookies they are sure to draft at the position next month to compete for Gilliam’s old spot. But if Beatty proves to be healthy and is willing to sign a low risk, prove-it type deal (a virtual certainty) then this could be a prudent move for the Hawks. If he shows up and wins the LT job, it would allow them to keep Gilliam on the right side. Webb could then compete for a guard spot, or end up being a valuable and versatile swing lineman capable of playing any spot but center.
There have been no reports of contact between Seattle and Beatty’s camp, but until he works out and shows how far along he is in his recorvery from surgery why would there be?
Keep an eye on this, because for all the criticism the Hawks have taken for how they’ve approached the construction (deconstruction?) or their offensive line this Winter, adding Beatty to the mix could end up being a coup. They could still draft one of the tackle prospects who appear to need a bit of development (Le’Raven Clark, Jason Spriggs) and groom him without the pressure of having to play such a crucial spot right away.
Or maybe Beatty just ends up being good enough to hold the job down for the next few years.
Either way, this possibility is one the Seahawks should not pass up.