What’s The Deal With Dan Connor?
By Martin Alvin
Is it just me, or are other Giants fans wondering what the hell is the deal with Dan Connor? Back on 9/12/13, Big Blue placed him on season ending IR because of stingers he suffered: first, against the Patriots in the last preseason game and then, against the Cowboys in the first game of the season. That seemed to mean that Connor was finished for the 2013 season and would probably be part of the Giants plans going into 2014.
And naturally, at the time, it was very disappointing, because he seemed to be doing a pretty good job at middle linebacker, having beaten out Mark Herzlich; and he was helping the Giants accomplish one of their major goals coming into the 2013 season, which was to toughen up the run defense. But in spite of the disappointment, it seemed like the only logical thing to do. After all, if he was going to be able to play a bit later in the season, why not put him on temporary IR? Or, why not keep him on the active roster? So, the transfer to IR seemed pretty simple, logical and straightforward.
Then, it seemed even more sensible because, in early October, Big Blue signed Jon Beason in one the great under-the-radar signing in years. And at that point, it seemed logical to assume there might be a Beason versus Connor competition next season –- assuming the Giants actually do re-sign Beason, and assuming Beason wants to re-sign. But it seemed certain we’d hear about Connor again after this season is over, as part of the Giants plans for 2014.
But then, back on 11/4/13, very quietly, the Giants waived Connor after reaching an injury settlement. According to sources, the move was requested by Connor and his agent — and of course, by then, the Giants had already moved on from Connor with the acquisition of Jon Beason. Then, yesterday, again, very quietly, Dan Connor re-joined the Carolina Panthers. And my first reaction was: Whoa! Wait a minute. If he’s okay, why did we release him? Was it some cap-related necessity? Was it something else? What the hell is going on around here?
Of course, Jon Beason is a much better option, not only for 2013; but for 2014 as well. But Beason’s not signed for 2014. What if he has a great year this year –- and we all hope he does — and then hits free agency, looking for big money? Can the Giants compete for his services? Can they afford to keep him? Better yet, can they afford not to keep him? Or, what if Beason goes down with another injury and can’t make it back next year? Wouldn’t having Dan Connor be a great safety net?
Hopefully, it all works out, but it just seems odd that Dan Connor would be allowed to walk away from the team — for free. Surely, the Giants could have found a place for him next season, even if Beason stays. He’s certainly a better middle-linebacker option than Mark Herzlich. So, even as a back up, it would make sense to keep him around. But apparently, for some reason, the Giants simply cut him loose, and I found myself wondering why.
And then I thought: could it have been an accommodation? Perhaps as a return accomodation for Beason? The Panthers are going to have to eat the rest of Beason’s contract which could be as much as 8 million bucks. And while Beason’s a hell of a player, he won’t cost much against this season’s Giants salary cap: perhaps 1.75 million; and all the Giants had to give up for him was a late round draft choice.
So, think about it: Dave Gettleman was the former NY Giants, Senior Pro Personnel Analyst and before that, the Pro Personnel Director, and now, he’s the GM in Carolina. He and Jerry Reese worked very closely on two Super Bowl winning Giants teams. So, that being said, is it possible he and Jerry Reese accommodated each other? Not to the detriment of their respective teams, of course. Each team seems to have done well in the swap of quiet accommodations. But isn’t it interesting how the teams … well, how the teams quietly accommodated each other? Just wondering. What do you think?