The last thing the Giants need is to bring Odell Beckham Jr. back. And if they are actually entertaining it? Then maybe we need to slow our roll about Brian Daboll and Schoen having fixed this franchise. Because you do not break the vicious cycle that borne a decade of incompetence by bringing in one of the chief sources of chaos at the first opportunity.
Beckham was and is clearly popular among his former teammates. And he has never found himself in serious off-the-field messes. He is also clearly a difference-maker. But there is a lot of water under the bridge here — baggage that is conveniently being forgotten.
The Giants spent the Beckham years ping-ponging from one dumb crisis to the next. And they won absolutely nothing along the way. The brawl with Josh Norman, the kicking net, the boat trip, the annual OTA hand-wringing, the fire hydrant incident, the Lil’ Wayne interview … it was never going to be sustainable. Dave Gettleman did a lot of disastrous things as Giants general manager, but his handling of Beckham does not make the top-5. Which says something.
And before anyone peddles the maturity angle, remember: Beckham blew up his relationship with Baker Mayfield and shot his way out of Cleveland only a year ago. And you want to bring this guy in to a young, impressionable team with a quarterback who is fighting for his professional life? Not to mention the fact he cannot stay on the field. If you count this season, Beckham has missed 40 games due to injury in his nine-year career with two torn ACLs, a fractured ankle and hamstring issues. That is a quarter of his possible games played. And he just turned 30.
The Beckham for fans and media is understandable. He was an electrifying player. The kind of guy the Giants rarely have. He was treated like Lawrence Taylor running a route tree and he seemed to think he was just that. But he was not.
Beckham won nothing here, he choked in the one playoff game he played here and he left town as nothing more than a footnote in New York sports history with one incredible catch to his name. No rings, no Ring of Honor. He did not even reach Matt Harvey status, because at least Harvey helped pitch the Mets to the World Series. The urge to mend that reality makes sense, for them and likely for Beckham as well. But that is not how this would ever work.
Again, this is all likely for naught. Beckham has signaled he wants a multi-year deal and to play for a contender. The Giants are not the latter at the moment and they are too wise to give him the former. There are teams who Beckham makes sense for — the Bills, the Cowboys, the Packers. But not the Giants. Beckham was worth the headaches until he was not. It is best to leave the past as exactly that.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]