It sure sounds like Dave Gettleman won’t cut and run from Odell Beckham Jr. Presented to the media on Friday, the New York Giants general manager seemed to signal his willingness to work with his star wide receiver despite all the headaches he’s given the franchise over the past couple of seasons.
There is no denying that Beckham is a talent but it is equally indisputable that he is a headcase. From his feud with Josh Norman to partying on Justin Bieber’s boat before last year’s playoffs and then his urination touchdown celebration earlier this year in Philadelphia, Beckham’s antics have grown from brash to detrimental. He is a distraction, no way about it.
And Gettleman, who worked under former New York Giants general manager Ernie Acorsi at the start of his career, must now handle this temperamental star. He invoked the name of Acorsi when addressing the Beckham issue.
Gettleman was asked if Beckham, given his talent level, should be considered for the long-term as this team rebuilds. There is a clear risk-reward in keeping Beckham as part of the team’s returning core.
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“It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Ernie taught me something a long time ago: don’t quit on talent. Don’t quit on talent,” Gettleman said Friday during his press conference.
“Two years ago, my last year, we were just decimated on the o-line down in Carolina. So, we ended up signing Ryan Wendell, who had played for the Patriots for seven years. We don’t make the playoffs, so baggy day, I grab Ryan and say, ‘Ryan, when are you out of here,’ and he’s a west coast guy and he said to me, ‘Dave, I’m here until tomorrow afternoon.’ I said, ‘Would you mind having lunch with me tomorrow?’ So, Ryan came in. And I said, ‘Ryan, listen, I’m not interested in inside gossip, backstories, I really don’t care, but I want you to talk to me about the process there.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Dave, at the end of the season last year we beat the Chargers and we beat Washington in that Monday Night game down there.’ And Ryan said, ‘Dave, those are New England Patriot wins. That’s what it looked like.’ And I said, ‘Okay, so tell me the steps.’ He said, ‘The one thing that we all know from the moment we walk in the door is we are expected to be pros today.’ There’s two kinds of players in this league, folks. There are guys that play professional football and there are professional football players. And the professional football players are the guys we want. I don’t want guys that want to win. I want guys that hate to lose. That’s the professional football player. That’s what you want. So, it’s important.”
Beckham’s fourth year in the league was cut short due to injury. He was selected to the Pro Bowl his first three seasons in the NFL and reached 4,000 receiving yards in his career in just 42 games, tied for the fastest to reach that mark in league history.
But the distractions and ego are fast becoming not worth the risk, something Gettleman must surely weigh as he begins overhaul this 2-13 team.