The New York Giants’ decision to trade superstar wide receiver Odell Bekcham Jr. came down to his antics on and off the field.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s trade to the Cleveland Browns sent shockwaves through the NFL. The mercurial wide receiver wasn’t sent packing because of his talent. Rather, the New York Giants were just happy to rid the locker room of OBJ.
“He had become too much of a pain in the ass,” said one source familiar with the situation to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “And there was a real fear that eventually it would get worse.”
Beckham was no stranger to controversy on and off the field. Whether it was his dumbfounding interview alongside Lil Wayne or sideline tirades during disappointing losses, Beckham always had a way to find the spotlight.
But if there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that the Giants made the trade in spite of Beckham’s immense talent. Vacchiano notes that one source told him the move was, “absolutely not a football decision.”
The move was more about the culture of the team and making sure the locker room didn’t devolve into the chaos that engulfs so many teams. General manager Dave Gettleman places a premium on building a culture and after one season with Beckham, he clearly felt that he didn’t fit into the long-term vision.
“I’ve been to seven (Super Bowls),” Gettleman said. “And every single team had a great locker room. I’m telling you. I’ve been to seven of them and they all had great locker rooms. Part of the responsibility of a general manager is to eliminate distractions. Allow players to play and coaches to coach. And unfortunately, guys that have character issues create distractions. They do.”
It’s hard to question Gettleman’s track record, but it’s completely fair to question this move. He traded away one of the best offensive talents in the game. The move has the potential to backfire in embarrassing fashion. Then again, if this move works out for the Giants, he’ll look like a genius.