Report: The Real Reason the Giants Traded Odell Beckham Jr. Was 'Absolutely Not a Football Decision'


Why would the New York Giants trade one of the best young receivers in the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr., for a couple of draft picks and a safety?

Here is a man who achieved 5,000 receiving yards faster than any player in NFL history. The 26-year old Beckham is on pace to be among the greatest of all time in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

And he’s done this with a quarterback, Eli Manning, who is a shell of his former self and is ranked among the worst in the NFL in recent years. Manning finished 25th in QBR in 2018, 22nd in 2017 and 27th in 2016.

Even Giants superfan George R.R. Martin, author of the “Game of Thrones” books, couldn’t figure it out.

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“I’ve been watching and rooting for the G-Men since ‘the Greatest Game Ever Played’ in 1958,” Martin wrote on his website Tuesday in a post titled “Kill Me Now.” “Beckham was not only the best receiver on today’s Giants, but he was the best receiver this storied NFL franchise has EVER had in their long history, and probably the best receiver they will ever have. They are certainly not going to replace him with the 17th overall pick in the forthcoming draft.”

Don’t forget that the Giants signed Beckham to a five-year, $90 million contract extension just last year.

So what gives?

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A new report by SportsNet New York‘s Ralph Vacchiano suggests it had nothing to do with his Beckham’s play on the field.

“He had become too much of a pain in the ass,” a source reportedly told Vacchiano. “And there was a real fear that eventually it would get worse.”

The source said it was “absolutely not a football decision.”

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The SNY report said the Giants “had grown tired of dealing with his headaches.” It cited a comment that Giants GM Dave Gettleman made to reporters at the NFL scouting combine a couple of weeks ago about players in general, not Beckham specifically.

“You’ve got to eliminate distractions,” Gettleman said. “There used to be a thing I used to call ‘the a–hole quotient.’ The bigger the a–hole you are, the better the player you had to be. Plain and simple. It’s funny (but) it’s true. It really is. Think of the great players that you’ve seen around the league who have been just complete jerks. At the end of the day, what was the sum total of their career and their effect on their teams?”

He said he was focused on creating a strong culture in New York and eliminating “distractions.”

“I’ve been to seven (Super Bowls),” Gettleman said, “and every single team had a great locker room. I’m telling you. I’ve been to seven of them and they all had great locker rooms. Part of the responsibility of a general manager is to eliminate distractions. Allow players to play and coaches to coach. And unfortunately, guys that have character issues create distractions. They do.”

The SNY report said the team wanted to avoid a situation like the Pittsburgh Steelers just went through with Antonio Brown, where Beckham, unhappy with a rebuilding team and a subpar quarterback, would force himself out of town via trade.

Vacchiano wrote that “there was a worry that in a year or two — especially if the Giants and their quarterback continued to struggle — Beckham could go that route, too.”

Whatever the motivation, the Giants decided to move on and Beckham will be playing for the Cleveland Browns.

Time will tell if he’ll give Browns GM John Dorsey any headaches.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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