COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just as no move is made in a vacuum – or, in a silo, as Dave Gettleman is wont to say, so too is no decision put into action by the hand of any one individual. And so, when the Giants traded away Odell Beckham Jr., the general manager and the head coach of the Giants were in complete agreement.
“Absolutely,’’ Pat Shurmur told the Post on Wednesday in his first public comments about the mega-deal. “Everything we do behind the scenes, coaching and roster building, is collaborative.’’
Shurmur was on site at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, watching Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State’s Pro Day. Adding a quarterback prospect is of paramount importance for a franchise that will start 38-year old Eli Manning in 2019. That is for the impending future. In the recent past, dealing away Beckham, a superstar receiver, to the Browns for a first-round draft pick (No. 17 overall), a third-round pick (No. 95 overall) and 23-year old safety Jabrill Peppers rocked the NFL and certainly changed the look and feel of the Giants.
“My reaction is always the case with trades, it’s good for both parties,’’ Shurmur said. “We feel good about what we got. We got a starting safety, we got a first-round pick and we got our third-round pick. We felt it was good for us and, because we were able to come to an agreement, Cleveland thought it was good for them.’’
The Giants also traded outside linebacker Olivier Vernon to the Browns and got back guard Kevin Zeitler.
“With regard to Odell and even O.V., it was business,’’ Shurmur said. “I know from my standpoint on a personal level anybody I’ve ever worked with I wish the best for when they leave. I’m hopeful O.V. and Odell can go to Cleveland, have an impact and help their team win games. That’s where it’s at.’’
There was a feeling around the Giants that Beckham, despite signing a five-year, $90 million contract last August, was not happy, although no one could pinpoint why.
“I wouldn’t comment on that,” Shurmur said. “That’s a better question for him. I enjoyed getting to know him, I enjoyed coaching him and this is just the business of sport right now. This is the business time of year and it happens to every team. No team starts the season looking exactly the same.’’
As Gettleman did earlier this week, Shurmur carefully picked a word to describe what the Giants are attempting to do.
“We’ve gone into this offseason knowing we have to build,’’ he said. “I don’t like the word ‘rebuild.’ We’re building. Dave has a plan, we have a plan and we’re just moving forward.’’
To those who insist they cannot detect a plan, Shurmur said, “I don’t believe that’s the case. We talk about everything we’re doing and I do believe we have a plan.
“There’s been a lot of changes. When Dave and I talk about this we want to bring in guys to help make our team better. Playing last year we were close in a lot of ways but we shined a bright light on the fact what’s needed to get better and that’s what we’re trying to do.’’
The one player the Giants got back for Beckham was a key to the transaction. Peppers will start alongside Antoine Bethea, a 34-year old veteran acquired in free agency.
“I studied him back when he was at Michigan,’’ Shurmur said of Peppers. “I like how he competes, he can play low, he can play high, he returns kicks and punts. In my mind, he’s a football player. I certainly like him. He’s a young player I think his best football is in front of him. He’s already showed us some things he’ll be able to do for us.’’