The Giants likely have no choice but to continue the charade. But if Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen are wise men — and they have led us to believe they are — they will cut the upcoming Odell Beckham Jr. free agency visit to one day. And only if he will not do Zoom. Or better yet, email.
We get why the Giants have to do this. After all, they are in a playoff race with a terrible receiving corps. And Beckham has good friends in their locker room and fawning admirers among the fanbase and local media. But once they check the box? Politely pass and resolve never to go down this road again.
Beckham did what he always does Sunday. The cycle of self-inflicted mayhem never ends. You can add getting kicked off a flight after the jet returned to the gate and deplaned to his greatest hits.
Beckham was removed from an American Airlines flight at Miami International after, according to the airline and police, he refused to put on his seatbelt after the flight crew thought he was experiencing a medical emergency. Beckham fired off several tweets indirectly ranting about the incident while his attorney blames an “overzealous” flight attendant and says Beckham was fine and did nothing wrong.
Who knows where the ultimate context and facts of Seatbeltgate will land. Our inclination is to believe they would not turn around a coast-to-coast flight and deplane it without merit, but you never know. That said, the truth is actually quite irrelevant here. All that matters is Beckham found trouble. Or it found him.
Same as with the Lil’ Wayne interview. And the boat trip. And the kicking net, Josh Norman, Paris video, fire hydrant celebration, LSU national title celebration, Baker Mayfield, the hole in the wall at Lambeau Field and anything else we have forgotten.
Beckham’s apologists and handlers have pushed the maturity narrative for years now. It never bears out. Some good behavior and a Super Bowl ring with the Rams proved nothing. Especially when he had to engineer a messy exit from Cleveland to get there. And now we have this kerfuffle right before his world tour finally kicks off.
The regular headaches may have been worth it when Beckham was at his electrifying best. But even then, it was never terribly sustainable. That is why the Giants traded him in the first place. And now Beckham is a 30-year-old who has suffered three serious lower body injuries and missed over a quarter of the regular season games played in his career.
The odds of a Giants-Beckham reunion coming to fruition have always felt long, more wishful thinking than a serious possibility. And for reasons having nothing to do with off-field considerations. The Giants are not one player from a Super Bowl push. They remain in the postseason hunt but may have played their way out of it when Beckham decides. It is hard to imagine Schoen would have the salary cap flexibility to offer him the lucrative multi-year deal he reportedly seeks. And why would Beckham want to join a run-first offense with a limited quarterback?
If there was any glimmer of a chance, this latest kerfuffle should end that. The Giants need to stick to their plan and keep building. They do not need to embrace the circus again. If Daboll and Schoen feel they must break bread with Beckham to keep up appearances and peace, so be it. But that should be the end of the dance. It just never ends with Beckham, as he conveniently reminded us all. The Giants should stay the heck away.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]