Sterling Shepard is back, but the New York Giants aren’t done reshuffling the deck at wide receiver during 2023 NFL free agency. Their plans could include recruiting a veteran well known to head coach Brian Daboll.
Cole Beasley played for Daboll for three seasons when the latter was offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. Now, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported the Giants “have eyes on” the 33-year-old slot specialist:
Re-signing Sterling Shepard is just the expected step 1 at WR. Expect more NYG activity. Already reported it seems like they have eyes on Cole Beasley. Also hearing they like Colts’ Parris Campbell, 25, who plays both inside & out. Have poked around the vet trade market, too.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) March 13, 2023
Leonard’s reference to the Giants also liking Indianapolis Colts’ wideout Parris Campbell is intriguing, but Beasley’s name carries more weight. That’s thanks to how productive he was on Daboll’s watch.
Brian Daboll Favorite Would Be an Asset For the Giants
Beasley joined the Bills from the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and quickly became a staple of the passing schemes Daboll designed for Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen. Beasley caught 67 passes during his first season in the AFC East, before registering back-to-back 82-catch campaigns.
He did most of his damage from the slot, with PFF BUF Bills noting Beasley trailed only Los Angeles Rams’ receiving kingpin Cooper Kupp from the inside:
Most receptions out of the slot since 2019
🥇 Cooper Kupp: 244
🥈 Cole Beasley: 218 pic.twitter.com/opEYfSAfd7
— PFF BUF Bills (@PFF_Bills) February 7, 2022
The only issue with those numbers is how closely Beasley compares to more than one wide receiver already on the Giants’ roster. At 5’8″ and 174 pounds, the veteran’s physical makeup is similar to both 5’8″, 185-pound Wan’Dale Robinson and 5’10”, 196-pounder Shepard.
There’s a profile to the type of receivers the Giants are targeting. It’s the same profile that led to Richie James in last year’s free-agent market, with the 5’9″ speedster tying for the team lead with 57 receptions.
James is a free agent, and the Giants have safeguarded themselves against not brining him back by re-signing Shepard on a one-year deal. The only risk is Shepard’s lengthy injury record, which is most recently highlighted by …read more