By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: Since the trading of Odell Beckham Jr. I’ve read so many articles of how the Giants are going to miss the talented WR and will once again finish in the basement in the NFC east. Although everyone is entitled to their opinion, I decided to offer my own opinion on this subject and for those Giant fans who are supporters of Beckham; you’re not going to like what my views are. First of all, if the Giants do indeed finish last in the NFC east in 2019, it won’t be a result of Odell Beckham being in Cleveland. Since the Giants drafted Beckham in the 2014 NFL draft, the Giants have only had one winning season (2016/11-5) and finished in last place twice. Now you may say why am I referencing Beckham with the Giants losing; after all football is a team sport. Well, for the past 5+ seasons, many Giant fans have pointed the finger at quarterback Eli Manning for the Giants failures on making the playoffs and having a losing record. For the record Giant fans, you can’t target one player for the team’s failures; especially when it was crystal clear that the Giants problems were along the offensive line and the lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Below are my top 5 reasons why the Giants will be a better team in the long run without Odell Beckham Jr.
- Saquon Barkley: The minute the Giants drafted the talented RB out of Penn State, it was clear that the Giants offense would go through Barkley as their main offensive weapon; and wisely so. Barkley had a total of 352 touches in his rookie season (261 rushes/91 receptions); which produced over 2000 total yards making him only the 3rd rookie running back behind Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James to accomplish that feat. The Giants will be more of a balanced offensive attack starting in 2019 and expect to see Barkley finish with nearly 400 touches in 2019.
- Drama: Sorry Beckham supporters, but Odell Beckham was all about drama during his time in New York. From displaying unprofessional antics on the field (imitating dog urinating, anger outbursts on the sideline, and his altercations with many defensive players, especially Josh Norman; which resulted in major penalties).
- Distractions: I haven’t even gotten to his off the field distractions and disrespecting his teammates with his infamous ESPN interview and his photos of being in a hotel room with a woman on a bed with what appeared to be a white powdered substance in front of them; while eating a pizza.
- Giants Receivers: Much has been mentioned regarding who will replace Beckham? Let’s be clear here, Beckham was the Giants best wide receiver by far, but that doesn’t mean they can’t succeed without him. If you look at the final 4 games of the 2018 season, the Giants offense averaged 30 points per game without Beckham and could have won 3 of those games if only the defense would have made plays on both the Colts and Cowboys final drives. I believe newly acquired Golden Tate is going surprise a lot of fans with his production as will Sterling Shepard. I also believe Corey Coleman has found new life as a Giant and along with rookie Darius Slayton and Cody Latimer (all projected at this point to make the 53 man roster), the Giants will have success by committee.
- Team Morale: I believe the atmosphere in the Giants locker room will be extremely different without Beckham; meaning more positive, more uplifting. You’re not going to see players throwing other players under bus and if we do, you will see GM Dave Gettleman find them new teams to play for.
Final Thoughts: When you look at all the teams that have won Super Bowl from 1967 to 2019, the wide receiver has won the MVP 7 times as opposed to 29 times for quarterbacks. That’s a tremendous difference when comparing the value between a quarterback and wide receiver. The Giants have not be a playoff contender in 2019, however; removing all the negative components that Beckham compiled as a Giant, the team will benefit in the long run regardless of how talented he was on the field. Here’s a bold prediction Giant fans and supporters of Odell Beckham Jr. I believe Beckham will wear out his welcome in Cleveland before his 5 year contract expires.