Odell Beckham Jr. was universally loved in the New York Giants locker-room, but leading up to Tuesday night’s blockbuster trade that saw him shipped off the Cleveland Browns, tempers were beginning to boil over upstairs.
Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reports that Beckham had become too much of a headache for the Giants to deal with, and despite pressure from head coach Pat Shurmur to keep him in town, the decision was ultimately made to eliminate the distraction.
“He had become too much of a pain in the ,” said one source familiar with the situation. “And there was a real fear that eventually it would get worse.”
That is as good an explanation for any for why the Giants sent the 26-year-old Beckham to the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday night for a first-round pick (17th overall), a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers. It was “absolutely not a football decision,” according to one team source. The Giants are well aware that replacing Beckham on the field might be impossible.
But off the field they had grown tired of dealing with his headaches, and as Gettleman explained to reporters at the NFL scouting combine two weeks ago, “part of the responsibility of a general manager is to eliminate distractions.” Beckham had become a lightning rod in New York, and no matter how the Giants tried to manage him, they couldn’t keep him out of the spotlight.
While the notion that Beckham became too much of a problem to deal with could explain the decision to trade him away, there are really no recent incidents that can be pinpointed as a defense of that decision.
The Giants knew what they were getting in bed with when they signed Beckham to a massive contract extension last season, and after inking his name along the dotted line, Beckham appeared to become a bit of a Boy Scout.
What changed in recent weeks remains unclear, but according to Vacchiano and his sources, Beckham somehow ruffled feathers to an extreme degree. And at some point in the near future, it will fall on the shoulders of general manager Dave Gettleman to explain what changed in such a short window of time.