Having acquired yet another first-round pick in their recent trade of Brandin Cooks, the New England Patriots could be a team interested in moving up in the draft. Or maybe they are eyeing an impact player but instead of a rookie, perhaps it is one who is already in the league.
The move that might just make the most sense for the Patriots is to go all-in not on a quarterback, but on a wide receiver. Odell Beckham Jr. no less.
The New York Giants star may not be on the outs but the new management in place clearly isn’t enamored with Beckham. The list of his antics, ranging from a meltdown three years ago against Josh Norman, then of the Carolina Panthers, to recent escapades over the past month that have been captured on social media have all raised an eyebrow. Even ownership said that no one on the roster is “untradeable,” a subtle notice to teams that Beckham could be had if the price is right.
The door is clearly open for the Giants to move on from Beckham and Patriots Way with their mystique makes the most sense.
Consider that the Patriots have already taken on-board red flags in the past such as Chad Johnson and Randy Moss, both of whom were considered risks before coming to New England. Even Rob Gronkowski was a roll of the dice coming out of college, a risk worth taking however as his ability was immense.
The same can be said of Beckham, as dynamic of a wide receiver as there is in the game. And while he is a handful off the field with his antics, he is an equal handful on the football field, demanding a team’s best cornerback and extra attention from safeties over the top on nearly every snap.
That type of talent would thrive with a quarterback like Tom Brady. And as a person, he could mature in this veteran-laden Patriots locker room given the strong personalities and discipline that make up this organization.
The presence of a Brady and the McCourty twins not to mention other players littered throughout the New England locker room makes this a place where Beckham can not only continue to dominate and begin winning championships but he can begin the process of finding his feet as a player and a man.
With the No. 23 selection, acquired in their trade of Cooks along with their original No. 31 pick, the Patriots certainly have picks to entice the Giants into trading away their playmaker.
They also have the cap space next year, estimated to be over $40 million, to give Beckham a long-term deal that can make him the highest paid wide receiver in the league.
A deal he’ll likely merit if he plays a full season in New England catching balls from Brady.
The Giants, in turn, assure themselves that they won’t regularly see Beckham in the regular season and not in the playoffs until a potential Super Bowl match-up. They also get multiple picks and first rounders to accelerate their rebuild.
It allows the Giants to go in a different direction while making sure that they get some value in return for a star player who is in the final year of his rookie contract. Sure, they could franchise tag him, but the Giants would be risking a holdout from the petulant wide receiver.
Better to get something in return and begin the rebuild now in a full, gung-ho manner. The move makes sense for New England as well, making an already explosive offensive one that would be favored to win in every game in the regular season.
It is a move that might just be a rarity in the NFL, one that helps both teams.