The Giants decision to trade an all-time great at the peak of his powers is the latest example of a team valuing their culture and the allure of hope over talent
The Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr to the Browns on Tuesday night, weeks after paying the star receiver a $20m signing bonus, and after general manager David Gettleman proclaimed less than two weeks prior: We didnt sign Odell to trade him. Thats all I need to say about that.
Gulp. In return, the Giants picked up a first- and third-round pick, safety Jabrill Peppers and $16m in dead money. It is the kind of trade that would cause a mutiny in your fantasy league.
An organization waits a lifetime to draft a player like Odell Beckham, a star so singularly gifted he can tilt a game with a single play, and help a rickety quarterback age gracefully through the twilight of his career.
Beckhams first couple of years in the league are almost without precedent. He became a household name with that catch and has been tabloid fodder and Hall of Fame producer ever since.
In his first three seasons in the league, Beckham eclipsed 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns each year. He snagged an average of 9.6 passes a game at an average of 14.3 yards per reception. The only player to match those numbers in each of their first three seasons in the modern era? Randy Moss.
Like Beckham, Moss was considered a cultural distraction, a Me First guy who couldnt exist in the NFLs ever-conservative ecosystem. He was too much of a show pony. Too interested in his own numbers, not enough in the collective.
The Vikings got tired of Moss after seven seasons. It took the Giants all of five one missed mostly due to injury to cut bait on Beckham.
Beckhams last year in New York was good, not great. Anchored by Eli Manning and one of the leagues weaker offensive lines, the Giants became plodding and predictable on offense, relying on sparkles of magic from Beckham and rookie Saquon Barkley.
Beckham has become one of the 10 most important non-quarterbacks in the league. Not because of his star wattage or place in the discourse, because he affects wins. Beckham finished ninth among non-QBs in Pro Football Focuss Wins Above Replacement metric.
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