Jon Beason announces retirement; Giants release Beatty, Schwartz

Posted Feb 10, 2016

Giants Defensive Captain Jon Beason has announced his retirement

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Linebacker Jon Beason announced his retirement and the Giants’ today commenced their offseason roster restructuring with the release of veteran offensive linemen Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz.

The three players, all of whom were injured in 2015, have a combined 23 years of NFL experience.

Beason, a former first-round draft choice and a three-time Pro Bowler, played 93 regular-season games (90 starts) in nine seasons. His career totals included 829 tackles (572 solo), 10 interceptions and 4.0 sacks.

“I always tried to give my all and be competitive,” Beason said. “I wanted to go out and continue to play at a high level, giving my all. I was able to do that.”

Beason played his first six seasons (plus three games) for the Carolina Panthers, who selected him 25th overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He started 65 consecutive games to begin his career, and was a Pro Bowler in three consecutive seasons (2008-10) before injuries began to take their toll. Beason was limited to five total games in 2011-12.

“I was able to have some success and set the pace and break records - things I never even really paid attention to until after the fact,” Beason said. “I couldn’t have scripted a better story, coming in as a first-round pick and starting in my first NFL game and setting the club high in tackles, and then breaking it every other year that I played, the Pro Bowls, the All-Pro’s, pinching myself, getting the big contract based on what I had already done; being rewarded for all that was a great feeling. I know that I’m very, very fortunate to have that moment, to have those memories of a certain period of time where I was a big deal.

“The only thing I wish I could have done - I dreamt often of being on the first team to win a championship for the Carolina Panthers. To date, it hasn’t happened. To do something first, I thought was really special and for me to play for the last expansion team, instead of following a legacy of greatness with some of the storied franchises, to do it first was something that was always on my mind. I would say that with everything, even the injuries, the ups and downs of an NFL career, that’s my biggest regret. That’s the thing that looms darkest for me moving forward, knowing that the opportunity has passed me by. It’s something that I’ll have to live with.”

On Oct. 4, 2013, Beason was traded to the Giants. He quickly became one of the defense’s most productive players and a team leader. Although he was not with the team for the first four games, Beason finished second on the team with 98 tackles (75 solo). His teammates elected him a team captain in both 2014 and 2015.

“When I came into the locker room and walked through Quest Diagnostics (Training Center) for the first time, I was excited and eager and ready to work, because I knew I could,” Beason said. “The confidence and the faith that guys in the locker room had in me based on who I was and the track record made it a seamless transition to come in and be myself. I wanted to come in and not step on toes, knowing that they had great leadership and guys that won championships in the locker room. I was grateful, because I was going to a team that knew how to win championships. That was very, very exciting for me. That was something I was thoroughly looking forward to and I was ready to get to work.

“That first year, it was quite a story. We experienced a lot of success once I got there. (I’m) not saying it was because of me, but the timing of it, winning seven of nine, having an opportunity to win five games straight after an 0-6 start was special, and showed the type of guys we had in the locker room. It’s just crazy what can happen when everybody buys in and gives of themselves for a cause. It couldn’t have been scripted any better for me personally.”

Beason played in just four games in 2014 because of toe and foot injuries that forced him to go on injured reserve. Last year, he suffered a knee injury in a preseason game vs. Jacksonville on Aug. 22.  Beason returned to play five games, but his season ended when he was placed on I.R. on Nov. 7. It was the fourth season in the last five in which he played no more than five games.

Beason wanted to keep playing and consulted with numerous doctors, but they were unanimous in recommending he retire because of his injured knee.

“I feel like I let people down in terms of my availability to play on Sundays,” Beason said. “It was extremely difficult and unfortunately consistent the latter part of my career. I know that those things were out of my control, and there wasn’t one single thing I could have done more with the cards I was dealt to ensure that I was available more and healthy, and able to go out and help my team compete.”

Beatty joined the Giants as a second-round draft choice in 2009. From his rookie season through 2014, he played in 82 regular-season games with 63 starts – four at right tackle in 2009, one as an extra lineman/tight end/eligible receiver in 2012, and 58 at left tackle from 2010-14 (including 46 consecutive starts).

But Beatty missed the entire 2015 season. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle during an offseason workout on May 19, underwent surgery, and was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Beatty returned to practice in October, but tore a rotator cuff, and again had surgery.

Schwartz, a seven-year veteran, joined the Giants as a free agent prior to the 2014 season and played in 13 games in two seasons.

He dislocated his toe in a preseason game against the Jets on Aug. 22, 2014, and was placed on injured reserve/designated for return. Schwartz was activated on Nov. 17 and made his Giants’ debut six days later vs. Dallas. But in his second game, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury at Jacksonville and was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 2.

In 2015, Schwartz started the first 10 games at right guard before moving to left guard at Washington on Nov. 29. Early in the game, he suffered a fractured leg and was placed on injured reserve for the second year in a row.