Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Eli Manning
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley diffuses the supposed shot Odell Beckham Jr. took at Eli Manning this week at Cleveland Browns minicamp.

Robby Sabo

While Odell Beckham Jr. continues to dominate New York Giants headlines, the true burgeoning leader of the locker room steps into the forefront.

Saquon Barkley isn’t just a football player (perhaps the best running back in the NFL); he’s dripping with the greatest character attributes any team could ask for from a young stud. And on Thursday, he put his leadership abilities on display yet again.

Instead of providing “no comment” or accidentally feeding into a possible story, Barkley diffused OBJ’s supposed slight towards Eli Manning.

“I saw his comments. I don’t think Odell was making a shot at Eli or anybody,” Barkley told SNY’s Jonas Schwartz on Thursday after shaking his head at the situation. “You have to get used to a new quarterback,” Barkley explained, likening the situation to how he got used to the Giants’ reshuffled offensive line during the second half of last season.

“That’s like me saying from the beginning of the season our O-line was here and there — injuries and trades and getting rid of people,” Barkley said. “Then the second half of the season, I had to get used to it. Not saying the O-line in the first half of the season wasn’t that good, you just gotta get used to it and get a feel and get a mesh. And that’s what he (Beckham) has to do over there.”

The polarizing comments continue to be argued.

Beckham, 26, conveyed just how hard his new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, threw the ball, and that it’s something he needed to get used to. Of course, thanks to this social media world of craziness and conflict-raging bait in the sports world taking center stage, angles flew around the football world.

“I’m going to have to get adjusted to the speed because he has an arm,” Beckham told reporters., via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com “He’s throwing that ball hard. Just catching him from the first day, it was like, ‘Wow! This is completely different.’ It just takes time.”

Who knows? Remember, this is Beckham Jr., the kid who never met publicity he didn’t enjoy (save for a couple of interesting instances).

It’s absolutely true that a transition from his perspective is required. Manning’s arm is nowhere near the strength of young Mayfield’s.

Could he have worded things in a way that doesn’t allow perception to run wild? Of course, but this isn’t something Beckham does.

He’s a smart kid. Never think he’s not. It’s why fans believe his usually intelligently-crafted social media and interview messages always showcase his true feelings.

Whatever the case may be, Saquon Barkley’s here to stay. His words that completely shut down a potentially negative story not only back up his overall value, but it mimics exactly what his quarterback would do when faced with the same situation.

Always give the benefit of the doubt and never feed in.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com