While the New York Giants secondary has gained attention as a unit quickly ascending to a spot among the most talented in the NFL, the outlook for Big Blue's defensive backs has largely excluded cornerback Sam Beal: A young product of a past regime who has yet another obstacle to face as he tries to make the roster.
According to a report by Art Stapleton of Northjersey.com, Sam Beal pleaded guilty in an Ohio court on Friday to two gun-related charges stemming from a June 2020 arrest near Cleveland. According to court records, Beal was arrested on June 2 of last year after being stopped for a traffic violation and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle, and possession of marijuana.
Beal was indicted on the gun charges on Aug. 13 of last year, eight days after he opted out of the 2020 NFL season. After pleading guilty, Beal was placed on two years of probation through June 3, 2022 and ordered to pay court costs and court-appointed attorney fees.
"We have been aware of the situation," reads a statement from the Giants, cited by NorthJersey.com. "We have no further comment at this time."
A Second Team All-MAC player at Western Michigan, Beal was chosen by the Giants in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft, but he has made little impact in his Giants career due to largely being unavailable: Beal missed his entire rookie year with a shoulder injury, and then missed 10 games in 2019 due to a hamstring injury before not playing at all as an opt-out in 2020.
Beal has played in just six games for the Giants, and is credited with 26 combined tackles and a pass breakup. His most notable play came in Week 15 of 2019, when he tackled Miami Dolphins running back Patrick Laird for a safety that sparked a run of 20 unanswered points in a 36-20 win in Eli Manning's final start as Giants quarterback.
Beal is far from a lock to make the Giants' 53-man roster this season, as the defensive backs group has changed dramatically under head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. After fielding one of the worst secondaries in the NFL when Beal last played, the Giants now boast a deep and talented group of defensive backs that include Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry, former first-round pick Adoree' Jackson, and a group of safeties that includes Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney. Beal's path to making the roster will likely come as a backup defensive back and special teamer.