Jon Beason didn’t just sign a three-year, $19-million contract with the Giants this offseason. He negotiated it as well.
Beason represented himself in free agency, a rarity among players who often rely on agents to handle the dirty work of football business. The middle linebacker spoke about his DIY project on Tuesday.
“I think if you take the time to learn something, if you really put fourth that effort, you can do it,” he said. “I wasn’t naive enough to think that I could just do it on my own, I got help. Going through the process, getting ready for the process, it was more so a matter of just wanting to be directly involved as opposed to playing the little kid game on the telephone. You learned a lot but at the same time I actually enjoyed the experience.”
Beason said the Giants reached out to him a few minutes before he became a free agent on March 11. Because he was repping himself, he was unable to participate in the “legal tampering” period. Once he was a free agent, he said there were a few suitors.
“There were a lot of teams that expressed interest, which was good,” Beason said. “That’s what I thought going into the process. You’ve got to go through the yellow tape so to speak. You play the game, the negotiations start low and you work your way up. Once you become a free agent, everything changed. That part I think is the way to go about it. It’s a little nerve-wracking but you just rely on the fact that you know you’re a good player and you know you have value.”
Beason compared it to buying a car and negotiating around the sticker value. Only in this case, the car was negotiating over itself. That meant he was susceptible to some hard feelings when low-ball offers came in or teams called certain aspects of his game into question. Beason said things never got that personal.
When Karlos Dansby signed with the Browns for $24 million over four years, that set the market value for middle linebackers. Beason’s contract wound up being a little bit more per season ($6.3 million per season vs. $6 million) with a lot less guaranteed ($14 million for Dansby vs. $6 million for Beason) and one less year. But unlike Dansby, Beason gets to keep it all. Well, other than the taxes. And Beason gets the chance to cash in on another big contract if he’s still playing at a high level in three years.
Although he said he enjoyed the process, Beason said he’s not looking for a career after football.
“I don’t know if I want to be an agent,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to chase young guys around and tell them how great they are and say, ‘Sign with me.’ I think there may be an opportunity to say, ‘Hey guys, try learning for yourself. That way you have a better grasp of what your agent’s saying or maybe you can counter with this. Maybe your agent didn’t think about it or maybe he’s shocked that you knew about it.’ I think there’s a place for it.”