- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In Jon Beason's 12 games with the Giants, the linebacker had a noticeable effect on the squad's defense, helping shore up what had been a rather leaky unit.
Beason now enters free agency hoping to be back with the Giants next season, with the belief that the Giants can be one of the premier defenses in the NFL next season.
"I think we have great leaders at every level. A great core of guys up front, second level and the secondary," Beason said after the Giants' 20-6 win over the Redskins on Sunday. "You know what, given the chance to have OTAs where we can meet and walk through and training camp and preseason, where we can get a lot of guys on the same page, we're going to be scary."
Re-signing Beason figures to be one of the Giants' top priorities this offseason, although the team has not been known to devote resources to the position. The Giants took a chance on Beason, who battled injuries with Carolina, by trading a conditional draft pick to acquire him. While Beason had fallen out of the rotation with the Panthers, he quickly became a key part of the Giants' defense.
In Beason's 12 games with the Giants, he accumulated 93 combined tackles, including a team-best nine combined tackles in Sunday's win. In half his games with the Giants, he tallied at least nine combined tackles, including a season-best 17 in the first meeting with the Redskins. Sunday, the Giants defense held the Redskins to 251 total yards and just 12 first downs in a dominating effort.
With his strong play, Beason figures to have suitors in free agency. It's the first time in his career he'll be on the market, and he said he's excited because he heads into it healthy. He reiterated his preference is to stay with the Giants. Beason said in October that he never wanted to leave the organization.
"I feel at home. The guys have welcomed me. The organization, I like the way they run. It's business and it's big time. The expectations are through the roof," Beason said. "At the end of the day the way it went from hey you're here one day the next day you're a Giant, the guys just made it easy on me. I would love to play here next year."
Another pending free agent the Giants will have to make a call on is running back Andre Brown, who ended his season with a stinker as he was benched until the fourth quarter after fumbling in the second quarter. He rushed 13 times for 11 yards, and said afterward he can't cough up the ball like he did.
Brown, who missed the first eight games with a broken leg, rushed 139 times for 492 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Brown said he would like to be back with the Giants.
"I'll let that all handle itself," Brown said. "All I can do."