The New York Giants created needed salary-cap space earlier this month when they cut some star-name veteran contributors like running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive lineman Chris Canty.

Today, they used some of that room to make sure another high-profile player does not exit via free agency. The Giants signed left tackle Will Beatty, who would have been one of the better players at his position available in free agency beginning March 12, to a five-year contract. That ensures the blind side protection for quarterback Eli Manning remains in place.

Beatty’s five-year deal is worth a base value of $37.5 million and includes $19 million fully guaranteed, according to Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. He can earn an additional $1 million in incentives.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune