The New York Giants sent shockwaves through the NFL landscape when they agreed to trade Odell Beckham Jr., their 26-year-old generational wide receiver, to the Cleveland Browns for a first and third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers last week.
On Monday, Giants general manager Dave Gettlemen, who signed Beckham Jr. to a five-year, $90 million extension ahead of the 2018 season and who infamously said “we didn’t sign (Odell) to trade him” during the NFL Combine in February, attempted to explain why he had, indeed, traded one of the best receivers in the NFL.
And boy, was it something. Let’s break this thing down quote by quote.
One could argue that Gettlemen actually did give Beckham Jr. away, especially when it was reported that the Giants were initially asking for two first-round picks in any deal for the mercurial wideout. Which they should have been! Beckham recorded more than 1,000 yards receiving in four of his five years in the NFL, and played just four games due to injury in the sole year he didn’t. The Giants received a mid first-round pick, a third, and a second-year safety in Peppers who, while making major strides in his second season, isn’t the caliber of player Landon Collins is, the safety the Giants just inexplicably chose not to franchise and lost to Washington.
A first-round pick, Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett would’ve been an offer you couldn’t refuse. That’s not what the Giants got.
Even more curious than Gettlemen’s decision to deal Beckham Jr. is the franchise’s current vision for moving forward. After jettisoning their best wideout, as well as defensive end Olivier Vernon and the aforementioned Collins, and armed with a stockpile of draft picks, one might think this would be the perfect time for the Giants to engage in a full on rebuild. Instead, Gettlemen held on to Eli Manning, signed Golden Tate and is saying things like “you can win while you’re building,” which is a pretty questionable opinion. Also, the Giants won a total of five games last year, and that was with all the good football players they no longer have.
This quote is the icing on the cake. The Giants could’ve released the 38-year-old Manning and avoided picking up his $5 million roster bonus that became guaranteed last week. Instead, Gettlemen is going to bat for a middling, aging quarterback who has struggled mightily without his best wide receiver in the lineup.
Gettlemen’s decision to ship off Beckham Jr. for so little was already a strange one. His conference call only made things more confusing.