Column: Odell is worth the headaches

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2017, file photo, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, in East Rutherford, N.J. Giants coach Pat Shurmur says he expects Odell Beckham Jr. to attend offseason workouts when they start in April. Trade rumors are surrounding the controversial star receiver and there has been strong speculation Beckham will hold out during training camp because he doesn't want to play the fifth and final year of his rookie deal without a new contract. "All reports are he will be ready to go as we get going," Shurmur said Tuesday morning, March 27, 2018, at the NFL meetings. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

We’re used to seeing Odell Beckham Jr’s name in the headlines. Just not necessarily ones with “trade” in them.

There have been plenty of those this week, beginning with owner John Mara’s comments on Sunday that no one on the roster is “untouchable.” The rumors have only escalated from there, with the Giants reportedly asking for two first-round picks in return.

I don’t need to tell you that trading Beckham would be idiotic. I mean, just look at what happened to the Giants’ offense last season after OBJ went down. Yes, the issues went far deeper than any one player, but Beckham is simply a once-in-a-generation player that can singlehandedly change an entire team. So what if his off-the-field antics create more headlines than his play? His value on the field far exceeds the pain of the headaches he causes.

Here’s the thing; I don’t think the Giants have any intention of trading Beckham. Asking for at least two first-rounders essentially prevents any team from making a realistic offer. Not to mention that with the second overall pick in their possession, which likely will be spent on an offensive piece, they’re not exactly looking to ship off their most established weapon.

But at the same time, the Giants are the ones that are allowing, even welcoming, this flurry of speculation. Mara or GM Dave Gettleman could’ve ended these headlines on Sunday before they began by simply denying that Beckham is on the block. Instead, they’ve said very little, not confirming the rumors outright but also not exactly vehemently denying them.

The Giants are sending a message to OBJ. They have been reluctant to give him a large contract from the get-go, not so much because of injuries or his play, but because of his behavior. It’s a franchise that takes great care of its image, and Odell has been a repeated threat to that image.

Perhaps the hope is that this will humble Beckham and finally put an end to the headaches. Perhaps they simply hope that it will lower Beckham’s asking price and give Gettleman the upper hand in upcoming contract negotiations.

However, there’s a difference between sending a message and alienating a player entirely. With rumors swirling, the Giants have done nothing to show that they want Beckham on the team or that they trust him to mature. Maybe that’s because they don’t—but they should at least make an effort to show it because, like it or not, he’s an irreplaceable part of the team.

Not everyone can be the stoic and well-spoken face of the franchise that Eli Manning is. There will always be players who say the wrong things or make some stupid decisions. Some of those players are not worth the trouble. Odell most certainly is.


Andrew Morrison is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at andrew.morrison@uconn.edu. He tweets at @asmor24