Although there were countless free agent deals that shocked the world this past week, one specific NFL trade truly became a moment that many football fans will never forget. Late last night, it was announced that the Cleveland Browns were sending a first round pick, a third round pick and strong safety Jabrill Peppers for one of the most talented players to ever walk into the New York Giants facility: Odell Beckham Jr.
It seems as if general manager Dave Gettleman was not satisfied with young star Landon Collins’ walk away, because he had to follow it up with sending away the man who was the heartbeat of the organization for the past five seasons.
This move really makes many wonder what direction the Giants are actually attempting to head in. To really understand this, rumors of trading Beckham date back to last season. Before the Giants gave him a monster five-year $90 million contract, many teams were interested in trading for the three-time Pro Bowl receiver.
The Los Angeles Rams surfaced as the team that wanted him the most, and even offered two first round draft picks. While they never pulled the trigger on the deal, they instead gave him the contract, thus committing to him and giving him the money he deserved.
A year later, Beckham has been sent to Cleveland along with Vernon for two draft picks, Peppers and offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler. In essence, the strategy makes no sense whatsoever.
Does Dave Gettleman intend for this team to tank next season? At the moment they have a laundry list of holes on this roster that include cornerback, safety, linebacker, defensive line, quarterback, offensive line and now wide receiver.
In a press release given by the Giants on Thursday regarding the trading of Beckham, Gettleman stated, “You can win while you build a roster. We do have a plan and this is a part of it.” Apparently, Gettleman’s definition of winning while rebuilding is throwing out talented football players while also sticking with a 38-year-old Eli Manning who will count as a $23 million cap hit for this season.
While some Giants fans may be “happy” that Beckham’s big contract is off the board, he will still count as a $21 million cap hit in dead money over the next two seasons. In essence, they are losing money, losing a young talented football player and losing their minds.
The franchise hasn’t won a playoff game since Super Bowl 46, and even though former general manager Jerry Reese was a major issue with the team, he actually helped draft players like Beckham, Collins and Sterling Shepard.
Beckham helped save Tom Coughlin’s job for an extra season and also kept Manning’s fading career somewhat relevant. He scored 44 touchdowns in 59 career games and never took a play off during his time in New York. Beckham is a generational talent, and the Giants should be ashamed of themselves for not being able to work with that talent and create a respectable football team.
The New England Patriots have had strong personalities such as Randy Moss and, currently, Rob Gronkowski; they showed that you can work with talent and find success within this league. While Beckham wasn’t a perfect person, he was far from the demon that everyone made him out to be.
It’s almost funny to see how far the franchise has come and there are even more reports coming out that they won’t use the extra first round pick to trade up for a quarterback like Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray.
No one knows what the future will hold for the New York Giants, but for some fans it is a living nightmare knowing that Manning has surpassed core franchise players such as Collins and Beckham.