The Giants’ shorthanded secondary took another major hit on Wednesday.
Third-year outside corner Sam Beal informed the team he is opting out of the 2020 NFL season with Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline looming for players to decide.
Beal’s opt-out is believed to be voluntary, which means he is eligible for a $150,000 stipend that would be deducted from his $851,118 salary that now tolls into 2021.
Beal, 24, was a leading contender to fill the outside corner spot opposite free agent signing James Bradberry, especially with 2019 first-round pick DeAndre Baker on the commissioner’s exempt list and sources telling the Daily News they do not expect Baker to remain on the team much longer.
Beal appeared in six of the final seven games of 2019, starting three of the last four.
The 2018 third-round supplemental draft pick spent the entire 2018 season on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury dating back to his days at Central Michigan.
Then he spent the first nine games of last season on injured reserve with a hamstring before showing his stuff late in the season and missing the finale with a shoulder. Beal made some mistakes but competed and showed potential.
With Baker away from the team facing major legal issues and Beal now opting out, the Giants’ depth chart at corner is now topped by the veteran Bradberry (signed from Carolina) and maybe rookie fourth-round pick Darnay Holmes, who was projected more in the slot.
Second-year DB Julian Love has the versatility to play corner and played on the outside at Notre Dame, but Love did his best work at strong safety last season when Jabrill Peppers got hurt.
Beal is the third Giant to opt out so far, following starting left tackle Nate Solder (high-risk) and reserve wideout Da’Mari Scott (voluntary).
LB Josiah Tauaefa was placed back on the active roster one day after going on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Tauaefa and WR David Sills V are the only two Giants so far to have gone on the list, and both are now active.
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