There has been quite of bit drama and speculation surrounding the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. as of late. Everybody and anybody has been speaking out and voicing their opinions.
There are wide ranging thoughts on what the Giants should do with Odell Beckham Jr. Many Giants fans when hearing of a possible OBJ trade had a conniption, while the OBJ haters rejoiced.
The goal of this article is to allow people to set their biases aside and simply look at the data. The first set of data I will be focusing on has to do with successful teams and the cap hit percentage of their number 1 wide receiver.
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Before we do that, let’s examine what an Odell Beckham’s’ possible contract extension would look like against the cap.
Below I identified three possible scenarios.
Odell Beckham Jr. and his possible cap percentage
|Yearly Salary||Estimated Cap 2019||Cap Percentage|
|14.9 million (Julio Jones 2019 cap number)||190 Million||7.84%|
|20 Million (reported asking price for OBJ)||190 Million||10.47%|
|22.165 Million (Antonio Brown’s 2019 cap number)||190 Million||11.66%|
The next set of numbers we will look at has to do with the last 24 Super Bowl Champions, their #1 wide receiver and their respective cap percentage.
Super Bowl winning #1 wide receivers and their cap percentage
|1994||Jerry Rice||2.9 Million||8.54%|
|1995||Michael Irvin||1.9 Million||5.32%|
|1996||Robert Brooks||1.7 Million||4.17%|
|1997||Anthony Miller||1.3 Million||3.20%|
|1998||Anthony Miller||1.4 Million||2.77%|
|1999||Isaac Bruce||2.9 Million||5.11%|
|2000||Jermaine Lewis||1.6 Million||2.68%|
|2001||Terry Glenn||2.3 Million||3.9%|
|2002||Keyshawn Johnson||3.3 Million||4.72%|
|2003||Troy Brown||2.4 Million||3.27%|
|2004||Troy Brown||3.2 Million||3.96%|
|2005||Hines Ward||2.1 Million||2.54%|
|2006||Marvin Harrison||6.4 Million||6.27%|
|2007||Amani Toomer||4.9 Million||4.54%|
|2008||Hines Ward||6.7 Million||5.78%|
|2009||Marques Colston||3.6 Million||2.99%|
|2010||Donald Driver||5.9 Million||No Cap|
|2011||Hakeem Nicks||1.6 Million||1.34%|
|2012||Anquan Boldin||7.5 Million||6.24%|
|2013||Sidney Rice||9.7 Million||7.89%|
|2014||Danny Amendola||4.7 Million||3.53%|
|2015||Demaryius Thomas||13.2 Million||9.1%|
|2016||Chris Hogan||5.5 million||3.72%|
|2017||Alshon Jeffrey||10 Million||6.23%|
The two biggest cap percentages of #1 wide receivers are as followed. First, in 1994 with Jerry Rice at 8.56%. Then, in 2015 with Demaryius Thomas at 9.1%. You will also find that in the past 24 years (excluding the cap less 2010) the average cap percentage of a #1 wide receiver on a super bowl winning team is 4.88%.
To analyze a little deeper we will take a look at each playoff teams top wide receiver cap hit from the last three years.
|Team||Top Wide Receiver Cap %|
|Team||Top Wide Receiver Cap %|
|Team||Top Wide Receiver Cap %|
The average cap percentage of #1 wide receivers for playoff teams over the last three years came in at 4.95%. That number is very similar to the wide receiver cap percentages of the last 24 Super Bowl champions which came in at 4.88%.
It’s fair to assume that most successful teams do not dedicate a large cap percentage to #1 wide receivers. In fact, if the Giants gave Odell Beckham Jr. 20 million dollars a season then the cap percentage hit would be twice the amount of the average super bowl champions over the past 24 years.
Odell Beckham Jr. Raises the Level of Play for Eli Manning:
Now we can take a look at Odell Beckham Jr.s effect on the Giants’ offense, in particular relation to Eli Manning. The following stats show a comparison of Eli Manning’s stats the three years he was with OBJ and the three years he was without him prior to being drafted.
|Year||Comp %||YPY||TD PY||INT PY||QBR|
|2014-2016 (With OBJ)||62.9%||4290||30||15||90.6|
|2011-2013 (Without OBJ)||59.5%||4233||24||19||83.3|
|+/- Differential with OBJ||+3.4%||+57||+6||-4||+7.3|
The following chart will represent the Giants’ offensive ranks in the NFL in regards to points and yards. The chart will represent the same years.
|Year||Points Ranking||Yards Ranking|
|2014-2016 (With OBJ)||15th||14th|
|2011-2013 (Without OBJ)||14th||16th|
|+/- Differential with OBJ||-1||+2|
Odell Beckham Jr.s presence in a Giant uniform cannot be understated. He has raised the level of play of a two time super bowl winning quarterback. In fact, if you were able to pick and pull Eli Manning’s three best statistical seasons without OBJ, his numbers still would not compare to what he has been able to do with him.
I then reviewed Odell Beckham Jr.s game logs from each of the first three seasons. It is clear to see that he was almost solely responsible for 7 wins. The effect he has on a football game is unparalleled.
Odell Beckham Jr./ Randy Moss Comparison
All this commotion regarding OBJ had me reminiscing about another great wide receiver early in his career that sounds eerily familiar to what is going on with OBJ.
From 1998 to 2003, Randy Moss was one of the most dynamic wide receivers to ever step on the football field. He averaged 88 receptions, 1396 yards and 13 touchdowns a season over the course of that time.
During those years he was also involved in some controversy on and off the field. In 2001 he verbally abused corporate sponsors on a team bus which sent him to anger management. The following year he bumped a traffic officer with his car, knocking her to the ground. Then, in the next year, he was fined $5,000 for his part in a fight with the Detroit Lions then another $5000 for spiking the ball at Lions Cornerback, Dre Bly’s feet.
In 2004, he had a bit of a down year for his standards mainly in part due to injury. He battled a hamstring injury which held him out of three games and slowed him down in many others. In 2005, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders.
Odell Beckham Jr./ Randy Moss Effect on Team Success
Although there are striking similarities between the two wide receivers, we all know Odell Beckham’s’ issues pale in comparison to Randy Moss.
From all accounts, OBJ is well liked by his teammates, does great things off the field and is considered to be a good guy. So what is the most important question to be asked in regards to Odell Beckham’s future on the New York Giants?
Can they win with him and what would the ramifications be if they moved on from him?
Let’s take a look and compare how the Vikings and Giants fared in terms of record before the drafted these prolific receivers and how they fared with them.
|Teams avg. yearly win with player||Team avg. yearly losses with player|
1998-2004/ 7 Years
|Odell Beckham Jr.
2014-2016/ 3 Years
|Team avg. yearly wins without player||Team avg. yearly losses without player|
|Minnesota Vikings(1992-1997) 7 years||9.1||6.9|
|New York Giants (2011-2013) 3 years||8.3||7.6|
This data may have been the most eye opening. Although Randy Moss and Odell Beckham Jr. have such a great impact on the game, their teams record did not vastly improve with them there. In fact, the Giants had a more successful three years prior to drafting Odell Beckham Jr. than they did with him.
Knowing that, there are other factors that affected the win/loss record for the Giants over the course of those six years. The Giants record would have probably been a lot worse without him.
What Does This All Mean?
To be honest… I don’t know.
In my opinion:
There is not a more talented player in the NFL than Odell Beckham Jr. The things he is able to do on a football field are simply amazing. Odell is on the fast track to becoming a first ballot Hall of famer. As a Giant fan, there is nothing I would like more than to see them retire #13.
On the other hand:
Would it make sense to dedicate so much cap space to a wide receiver? It does not seem like successful teams do that.
The way I see it is that the Giants have only two realistic options.
- Extend Odell Beckham Jr. and pay him the money he is looking for. In addition to that they need to identify who there quarterback of the future is (whether its Davis Webb or whoever they draft #2 overall) and follow the same strategy that the Seahawks and Eagles have recently implemented. Have a young, successful quarterback on a rookie deal and pay other positions.
- Trade Odell Beckham Jr. for a haul of draft picks and begin the rebuild.
This decision will have a great impact on the New York Giants for the foreseeable future. I for one am glad I do not have to make it. I do however, trust Dave Gettleman and the new regime. They will make the best decision for the New York Giants moving forward.