A stirring realization, which I think is resonating through the corridors at 1925 Giants Drive is that WR Odell Beckham, Jr. might be wearing out his welcome. It is very possible this uniquely gifted player has actually become more of a hindrance than a help. His upside is incalculable but the Giants have seen too much of his downside this season.
GM Jerry Reese and the Giants’ brass let OBJ have his way for far too long. His behavior has become embarrassing and there are no signs that he will change. At some point, he might “grow up” as Reese suggested, but the Giants are in ‘win now” mode. They can’t afford to be coddling him and his sideshow anymore. If some team wants him in a trade, I’d listen.
By the way Reese spoke on Monday, he’d be willing to listen, too. They haven’t won with OBJ, so what’s the harm in exploring their options? They could part ways with him an still have a pretty solid WR corp with Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis and Tavarres King. They will likely bring back Victor Cruz at a reduced rate and Darius Powe, a big, physical wideout can be promoted from the practice squad.They have a knack for finding receivers, so if they can get fair value for Beckham in a trade, they should do it.
By dealing OBJ, they would also avoid paying him a king’s ransom in the next few years. 2017 is the final year of his rookie deal and the Giants will have to commit to Beckham’s fifth season this spring, which usually comes in the form of a long term contract. Are they willing to break the bank on this emotionally fragile prima donna? It’s a tough call, but the team might be better off sending him packing for a package of draft picks.
Keep in mind, the Giant have not won a thing with their Beckham-centric offense. And this season, they couldn’t even break 30 points once in a game. In fact they didn’t break 20 points in any of their final six games. They can’t get any worse, so it wouldn’t hurt to change the formula on offense, anyway.
You don’t have to go back in history that far to see the Giants can succeed without their superstars. Jeremy Shockey was one of the best TE prospects me or any one else around here ever laid eyes on. The Giants won two Super Bowls without him. They also won two championships without RB Tiki Barber, who I consider the greatest offensive player in franchise history. It can be done, folks.
It would be foolish to think that they could find a one-on-one replacement for OBJ, but they may not have to. They could seek out a wideout in free agency or the draft. The free agent class for wideouts is fairly attractive this year: Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson (yes, I said it), Pierre Garcon, Kenny Britt, Terrelle Pryor, Jr., Kamar Aiken, Ted Ginn, Jr., Robert Woods and Kenny Stills to name a few.
In the draft, there are plenty more. Considering that Lewis and Cruz were UDFAs and King was also a free agent find, they don’t need to burn a high draft pick on a WR. They can find value in the middle to late rounds and beyond.
The Giants won’t have the luxury of a top pick this year anyway, so they won’t have a shot at Clemson’s Mike Williams but there are plenty of young men coming out of the college ranks that would love be on the other end of an Eli Manning pass.
They probably won’t move Beckham because of the likely backlash they’d get from the fans, but isn’t the objective here to win championships? That’s what New England does. They have dealt several big names in the prime of their careers (Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins to name two) rather than sign them long term. It hasn’t slowed them down one iota. The Giants might take not of this, but do they have the courage or foresight as an organization to cash in this chip for the betterment of a less, exciting, more productive team? We’ll see.