Every now and then, a player heading into free agency struggles and questions are asked about whether trying to get that new deal is leading to problems producing on the field.
Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is a player that’s heard such questions as he’s scuffled his way to mediocre production ahead of a chance to hit the open market. One of his teammates is having the opposite problem.
Left tackle Will Beatty got a five-year, $38.75 million contract before the season and has turned in a dreadful campaign that has included getting beaten like a drum by Redskins pass rushers last Sunday night. According to Beatty, the problem isn’t that he got paid and then shut it down.
“I know I came into this year trying to do way too much and trying to change who I was to fulfill the media hype,” Beatty said, via the New York Post. “It’s like you got the contract, now eyes are on you, people are expecting more from you and you’re trying to live up to it. My first big contract, I’m like I want to earn this contract, I want to make sure they know that I’m not just a fluke and I’m going out there just not being me, not being the guy that got me to this contract.”
There wasn’t all that much hype about Beatty coming into the season, at least relative to other Giants like Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul and Corey Webster who have underperformed this season. There was an expectation that he would provide a solid anchor to the offensive line, however, and the team has faltered because of his inability to do that.
Beatty was able to do it in 2012 and the Giants will likely bank on a rebound from him next year because they have plenty of other holes to fill without adding a new left tackle to the shopping list.