There comes a point in time where enough is enough. Let’s stop the nonsense and I think most people have reached that point when it comes to Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. That is why Giants co-owner John Mara had every right to criticize his star wide receiver.
There is no questioning his talent and his impact, even though the Giants have never really ‘won’ with him and his only playoff appearance against the Packers was a disaster on the field and off of it with the documented ‘boat trip;’ in January of 2017.
He is a star and one of the faces of the National Football League and is clearly marketable to the young football fan, hence his deal with Nike.
But, as the Giants are mired in another disastrous start, they are engulfed in the drama created in large part to their star wide receiver.
Listen, I was all for Odell Beckham Jr. getting the contract that he received in late August which was a five-year extension worth $95 million dollars, $65 million of that guaranteed. He played the good soldier in training camp and created zero distractions and looked like a young man that had finally matured. His commitment to football has never been questioned. He cares about football and he is well-liked in the Giants locker room. He wants to win, but the way of going about winning can be called into question.
You see, Beckham is an interesting test case because it is not just black and white. To steal a line from the Grateful Dead, it is more of a ‘touch of grey.’ Those that say you can’t win with Beckham are lost and don’t point to the lack of relevant football with the Giants because he is not the reason why the Giants are losing. With that being said, you can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that the unnecessary drama and distractions have had some sort of negative impact. Can you place a percentage on it? Absolutely not, but you can’t say it has not created a distraction for the Giants which is the last thing a team wants.
So, there two very distinctive thoughts on Odell Beckham Jr. and I would say the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But there does come a point in time where you throw your hands up and say enough.
When the season is going bad, nothing good can come out of you doing an interview with ESPN as Lil’ Wayne is sitting next to you. An interview in which the offense and Eli Manning was called into question before he went on to discuss his affinity for life in Los Angeles. Then you get his apology to his teammates the night before the Carolina game. Beckham then took credit for the inspired effort in the loss, which led to him hopping on social media after yet another loss, this time to the Eagles at home, in which he walked back his apology because he was just saying ‘how he feels.’
That was an Eagles game in which Beckham left the field before the end of the first half to get an IV and throw a tantrum on the sideline, which included his head-butting of an industrial cooling near the Giants bench.
I think all of this is what led to Giants co-owner John Mara saying what he did last week: “I wish he would create the headlines by his play on the field as opposed to what he says and what he does off the field. I think he needs to do a little more playing and a little less talking.”
Mara has every right to criticize his players when he should see fit and those that think otherwise need a dose of reality. As co-owner, he helps pay the bills and he is allowed to ask for Beckham to stop the nonsense. He is not providing cover for quarterback Eli Manning.
For better or worse, Odell Beckam Jr. is what he is. Throw in Beckham’s dad posting a video of Mara throwing a chair in his owner’s box to defend his son, Beckham and head coach Pat Shurmur having to answer questions as to why Beckham does not drink water, and that is what you call a typical week for the Giants nowadays. Maybe the Giants should have known better. But they were not willing to give up on the talent and I don’t disagree with them.
Beckham handled himself well when addressing the media on Friday, saying he values the opinion of Mara before revealing that he tells Manning every time they get in the huddle for the veteran quarterback to take him home. Maybe he got the message, but he probably did not.
I do think winning games will help the situation, but I think Beckham needs to realize it is not about him, but the team.
He wanted the money and he got it. He earned it.
With that deal, the Giants no longer want the migraines he has a tendency to cause. You can build the brand without being a distraction.
I think that is fair, no?
Beckham wants to consider himself a leader and it can be shown in many different variations. With that, leadership is not necessarily shown by the person with the strongest voice. It can also be shown by the individual with the strongest game. OBJ needs to learn that and needs to know that sometimes it is better not to say everything on your mind. He needs to also learn the value of keeping things in-house.
With the contract, comes great responsibility.
The Giants took care of Beckham with his new deal and it is now time for Beckham him to do right by the franchise.