New York Giants: Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. to link up in ACL rehab

Saquon Barkley

The season ended early for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. While Barkley came into the year with big expectations, he was out only a couple games in thanks to an ACL tear. The injury would put him out for the entire season and Barkley is currently at the phase of rehabbing. If that rehab goes well, everyone is hoping Barkley can be a full speed player come the 2021 season.

Another player recovering from the same injury, however, is former Giant Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham’s time in Cleveland since being traded has been far from perfect. The latest in a line of problems is that injury, which cut his season down to 7 games and saw him match his career low in touchdowns.

It looks like the two players are set to link up as they both rehab from similar injury situations.

“Only thing I do know that I have planned for sure, I’m definitely going to link up with [Odell],” Barkley told ESPN in an interview. “Obviously Odell tore his knee a little too. I think we both need just being there. We’re really good friends. Competing with each other and pushing each other will also be good too. That’s the only thing I know for certain I will do. Everything else is up in the air.”

Many consider the Giants to have won the Odell Beckham trade. Not because Beckham doesn’t have raw talent, but because various circumstances like this have prevented him from playing to his fullest potential in Cleveland. And it seemingly didn’t take long for Beckham to get involved in organizational drama in Cleveland, either.

But the trade hasn’t stopped Barkley from working with Beckham.

“Every year we always link up with him at some point, somewhere. Definitely going to find a way to link up.”

He mentioned the possibility of getting other injured players involved, such as Bengals QB Joe Burrow.

Injuries have affected many players around the league, and Barkley is one of the ones who has been impacted the most over the past couple of seasons. It’s put a big dent on his overall numbers, but fans will still be holding out hope that in 2021 Barkley can return to his healthy standard. After all, when he first showed up, it looked like a fully healthy Barkley would completely change the game for the Giants.

New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. “felt betrayed” by former coach Pat Shurmur

We never did get to see what would happen if the New York Giants were able to field a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., Daniel Jones, and Saquon Barkley. As everyone knows, the team moved on from Beckham with a trade to the Browns and there’s been varying takes on whether that was a good move or not. Some have said that Beckham was a distraction and overrated on the field, and others have complained about the Giants trading away a major offensive weapon that they still haven’t replaced fully.

However, more light is coming out on just what happened before the team moved on from Beckham. If the player himself is to be believed, he had other factors than just his health working against him towards the end of his time with the franchise.

Beckham Jr. accuses Pat Shurmur of sabotage

Most Giants fans don’t have too high of a view of Pat Shurmur as a coach based on how his time with the team went, but Beckham revealed another possible problem from Shurmur’s time with the Giants while speaking to the All Things Covered podcast.

He says that Shurmur intentionally tried to turn teammates against him, a detail that hasn’t come out before.

“I felt betrayed in a sense that this coach tried to turn me against my brothers and my coaches and was telling the young guys to stay away from me because I’m not a good person or not a good team [player] or role model or this and that,” Beckham said. Of course, we all know who ‘this coach’ actually means, even if Beckham didn’t name Shurmur explicitly. It’s clear enough from who was in charge when the Giants moved on from Beckham.

He also claims that he never meant to talk down on Eli Manning – an incident that would become one of the defining controversies of the late period of his time with the franchise.

“The only thing I can look back on and be like, ‘Man, I regret saying that’ is saying he’s not the same player, even though it’s the truth.”

Manning was, of course, replaced by Daniel Jones not long after Beckham departed. But whether or not Beckham was right to state the truth, as he claims, is a matter of opinion.

Building an organization

While Beckham has said a number of controversial things, a lot of fans will likely agree with his comments about team building. The rebuilding process of the Giants has been extended by draft picks not panning out, and Beckham mentioned the draft specifically.

According to him, the Giants could have won with Eli despite his age. But not with the way they drafted during those years.

“I felt like they never put people around Eli. It bothered me because I felt like they never built around him. And we just kept drafting, we were drafting not like building an organization.”

Fortunately, the Giants have started to change that more recently. Picks such as Darius Slayton, Andrew Thomas, and Dexter Lawrence have been panning out and the team has made good free agent decisions that have directly resulted in more wins. Organizationally, the Giants went with a new coaching staff that looks more effective. Not only is Joe Judge a candidate for Coach of the Year, but his coordinators haven’t dropped the ball as Giants coordinators under Pat Shurmur did.

But we’ll never know what would have happened if the Giants kept Beckham around during these improvements. The idea of Daniel Jones throwing touchdown passes to Beckham, and of the Giants having a dangerous receiving group including Beckham, Slayton, and Sterling Shepard is an appealing one.

Like many other things in NFL history though, it remains a ‘what if.’ And it will take a serious shakeup for Beckham to somehow accomplish his old goal of winning a ring in New York.

The main reason Giants’ Saquon Barkley could have a legendary 2020 season

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

When you have a running back like Saquon Barkley on your team, utilizing him to the most of his abilities is a priority. The New York Giants maximized his talent 2018, which happened to be his rookie season. Fast forward to 2019, and the Giants were forced to lessen his workload due to a high ankle sprain. Nonetheless, Barkley rushed for over 1000 yards and totaled 1441 yards from scrimmage. He fumbled the ball just one time, the only time he has done so in his first two seasons in the NFL.

What makes a Giants’ Saquon Barkley so effective?

Not only is Barkley a phenomenal runner, but he also has some of the best hands at the position in the league. He dropped 5.5% of his pass targets last season, and for comparison sake, that matches up closely with Odell Beckham Jr.’s. at 5.3%.

With Jason Garrett taking over offensive coordinator duties, I fully anticipate seeing Barkley’s production skyrocket. A heavy usage of 12 personnel sets will open up running lanes, and an upgrade at the left tackle position should benefit him as well.

However, the primary reason I believe Barkley will excel in 2020 is the alleviation of his high ankle sprain. Barkley stated recently on an Instagram Live session with Golfer Brooks Koepka that the injury was extremely tough to get over.

“It was more nagging than anything,” Barkley said. “It was tough to deal with. Once we got to the offseason and I got some time to myself to work on it and be happy with it, it made me feel a lot better.”

Being the type of player he is, Barkley tried to rush back from the injury, which ultimately hurt his timetable for return and severely limited his cutting ability.

“When I first got hurt, I had it in a boot, I was in the boot for like two days,” Barkley told Koepka. “My whole mindset was coming back early. I was jumping on the ‘dirt thing’ — you’re really not supposed to be doing that.”

“I was trying to (test) myself to see where my strength is and how bad it actually hurts. With injuries, there’s always a deadline for everyone. Like, the high ankle sprain takes 6-8 weeks or something like that. But I wanted to try and get it moving and try to get it as good as I can to get back.”

The 2020 season offered him a fresh start at full health, not to mention the bolstering of the offensive line and experience with Daniel Jones under center. Add a blocking specialist in TE Levine Toilolo, and Barkley should be in line for a legendary season.

 

 

New York Giants: Victor Cruz Not Yet Over Boat Trip Photo

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Victor Cruz

The New York Giants haven’t been in the playoffs for the past few seasons, and in the last season that they did make it into the postseason, one memorable moment stood out more than anything else – the infamous trip to Miami which resulted in a famous boat picture and was followed up by a loss to the Packers in the divisional round.

The loss, and the way that it happened, ended the most recent era of the Giants being competitive and introduced the era of losing, head coaches changing quickly, and the team having less and less star players. One well known Giant that went out on that loss was Victor Cruz, who departed from the Giants afterwards, and the trip that happened in the buildup to the game has still stuck with him even after retirement.

“This photo will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Cruz told E! News recently. “It was more so the feeling of, ‘Man, when am I going to get to do this again? When am I going to get to be an athlete, win a football game, go on a private jet, go to Miami the same night?’ It was one of those things where I was just like, ‘I think I’m just going to feed our ego tonight.'”

The picture quickly became a talking point and was perhaps talked about even longer than the Giants poor on the field performance against the Packers. It was also, possibly, the point when the relationship between the Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. started to go downhill. Despite multiple players being in the picture, it was Beckham that received flak about it the longest, mainly in the debate about whether or not the Giants should have kept him.

It wasn’t uncommon, by then, for detractors to add in snide remarks about the Miami trip when arguing against the Giants keeping the wide receiver. In the end, the Giants ended up trading him to the Browns.

“If this was 1999, no one would have known about the trip, we would have went, had a great time, come back. And then had we won the game, that’s the part that kind of bothers me, too. If we won the game, they’d be like, ‘Go to Miami every week, apparently that’s the good luck charm.’ The fact that we lost, left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth,” Cruz elaborated further on the topic of the infamous picture.

Like it or not, the picture is now a part of Giants fan lore – and until the team makes it back to the playoffs and advances rather than flopping, it’s going to remain there as a symbol of the last time when the Giants were competitive and in the running for a playoff run… Even if they did enter the postseason in 2016 as underdogs.

New York Giants Raise Eyebrows With Odell Beckham Jr. Omission in Tweet

There’s not nearly as many controversies between the New York Giants and former wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in 2020 as there were last offseason, but sometimes something still comes along and stirs up the pot. In this case, the drama is a more minor one but has gotten attention anyway due to the fact that it’s the offseason and there’s not a ton going on until the NFL Draft comes up later this month.

The source of the drama is Twitter, where the Giants put out a seemingly innocent Tweet. They mentioned a number of Giants players past and present, but there was one omission that raised some eyebrows due to it seeming like an intentional slight.

That’s the omission of Odell Beckham Jr. despite the fact that other receivers that aren’t currently with the team such as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are mentioned. While Beckham’s career for the Giants wasn’t as notable as the other players listed, some believed it was a slight due to Beckham’s large role in the Giants offense in the more recent years when he was a part of the team.

Of course, for every person who believes that Odell Beckham was slighted by the Tweet, there’s another person that simply doesn’t want to hear any further about the former Giants receiver and the way the team moved on from him.

Others have said that the reason Beckham isn’t represented is simple – he’s an active player on another team, unlike the others on the list. One of the people to point that out is another notable former Giants player, Justin Tuck.

Intentional slight or not, the Giants will likely continue to have Odell Beckham Jr. controversies pop up until the team can truly say they’ve replaced him. Will that be soon? That might depend on just how much other players like Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton step up.

OBJ Thinks Jets Would Be “Ideal Landing Spot” if Traded

New York Giants, Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham, Jr. back in The Big Apple? Sure, he’d love to come back but the New York Giants aren’t about to go down that road again. They’ve been there, done that with the talented, but distracting, wideout.

But, how about the Jets? They could use a a weapon or two to pair with their young signal caller, Sam Darnold. OBJ’s current team, the Cleveland Browns may have had enough of the Beckham experiment and could explore dealing the star receiver away after just one season.

From Kristian Dyer of SI.com:

Amid speculation and rumor that the game’s most talented wide receiver might be the center of an offseason trade from the Cleveland Browns, it might be the New York Jets and not the New York Giants that could be a destination for Beckham . An NFL source told SportsIllustrated.com that if Beckham is traded, he would view the Jets as an ideal landing spot.

 

The league source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said that if Beckham is moved by the Browns after just a single season in Cleveland, that the Jets could be a possible team for him. The source said that it is his understanding that Beckham isn’t actively seeking a move from Cleveland, just simply that a return to New York could be welcomed by the star.

The Cleveland media apparently isn’t enough to satisfy OBJ. He needs a bigger audience. He can only get that by being traded back into a huge media market. Neither L.A. team seems interested, nor do Dallas, Philly or New England. Since the Giants are out, that leaves the Jets.

The Jets are currently wrestling with the prospect of re-signing Robby Anderson, who could demand close to the same money it would cost them to play Beckham. Anderson is reportedly asking for $13-15 million per year. Should the Jets trade for Beckham, who is under contract until 2024 with an average cap hit of around $15 million per.

The Jets have approximately $56 million in open cap space to deal with this offseason and they will be looking to add to their offensive arsenal. All that is left to is to find out what it would take to pry OBJ away from the Browns.

 

Debate: Should the New York Giants take a WR at 4?

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

As the NFL season comes to a close, fans of the New York Giants have already begun speculating moves that their beloved team should do this offseason.  Something that has become all too familiar over the last few seasons.

One position of intrigue and debate is wide receiver.  After trading away Odell Beckham Jr. and being thin at the position, many wonders if the Giants will take an elite receiver at the top of this April’s NFL Draft.  Others, on the other hand, believe this would be a mistake. Which side are you on?

Making the case for a WR in Round 1

With the 4th overall pick in hand and considering the needs of Washington and Detroit in front of them, the New York Giants very likely could miss out on a premier defensive talent yet again.  Chase Young seems bound for Washington. Isaiah Simmons’ performance has made him a strong candidate to go 3rd overall. So, what does that mean for the Giants?

Popular options include trading back to a quarterback hungry team, taking a young offensive tackle or grabbing another cornerback.  However, many others think the New York Giants should be taking a wide receiver. 

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb have been considered by some to be ideal selections for the Giants.  Jeudy has been compared to the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper and can be the outside receiver New York covets. His speed and agility make him a threat at all levels.  

Then there is CeeDee Lamb.  Lamb has incredible ball skills and control of his 6’2” frame.  Many compare Lamb to Houston’s Deandre Hopkins or even 6-time Pro Bowler, Reggie Wayne.  How could the New York Giants pass on that?

Even if the Giants were to trade down, the talent in this draft class at the receiver is very deep.  Clemon’s Tee Higgins, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. are just some of the names that could be called in the 1st round.

Making the case against a WR in Round 1

The depth of this receiving class may be the strongest case against taking a receiver in the first round.  It is no secret that the New York Giants have needed all over, especially on the defense and offensive line.  Is taking a receiver in the Top 5 really the best use of draft capital?

Without trading out, the Giants are sitting in a great position to address many needs with premier talent.  Isaiah Simmons is an ideal fit, but may not be available. Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah is another top prospect that will be available with the 4th pick.  The tackle position is very top-heavy, with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas all being considered as the best tackle prospect in the class. 

The Giants have a talented group of receivers already, but they are thin at the position.  With the injuries they suffered last season, having depth is critical. Taking a wide receiver later in the draft may be their best option.  Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Southern Cal’s Michael Pittman Jr. and Ohio State’s K.J.Hill are just some of the names the Giants could call at any point in the later rounds.  Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright has been impressing scouts this week at the Shrine Bowl and could very well be a breakout player in the NFL.

What about the free-agent market?

The New York Giants are going to have a ton of money available for free agency.  If they prioritize the offensive line and defense in the NFL Draft, they have some options in free agency in order to build out the depth at wide receiver.

New York can definitely bring back guys that WR Coach Tyke Tolbert is familiar with.  Cody Latimer, Cody Core, and even Da’Mari Scott would all be unsurprising returns to the Giants.  If the G-Men dip elsewhere in free agency, they do have options. They could look to add a veteran with a one year deal, much like Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas or Danny Amendola.  The veteran option giving them depth, talent, and experience as a stop-gap for the season.

What about a younger option that could be signed for a longer deal?  WR Amari Cooper hasn’t be resigned by Dallas… yet. The Jets Robby Anderson looks to be headed to the open market and will be sought after.  There are also options like Rashard Higgins, who showed flashes with his time in Cleveland before the Browns brought in Landry and Odell.

Whatever the case may be, the New York Giants will have to address the lack of depth at wide receiver.  The talent is there, especially with the emergence of Darius Slayton, but there is a longevity concern that will need to be taken into consideration.  

New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. “Not Afraid” Of Coming Back To NY

The Odell Beckham Jr. era in Cleveland probably isn’t going to last long – when the New York Giants dealt the receiver to the Browns this offseason, it brought about talks of the Browns possibly having one of the better offenses in the league and contending for the Super Bowl. Those results haven’t shown up yet on the field and most are well aware by now that there’s unhappiness on both sides of the relationship.

It’s been a down season for Beckham and the Browns may feel that they haven’t gotten what they were looking for when they made the trade. Their offense hasn’t been what they likely imagined it would be when they made the deal, and it hasn’t taken long for rumors to circulate about Beckham showing interest in other teams.

The Browns are posturing as if they don’t intend on making a deal to send Beckham away after one season, but could that really just be smoke? It wouldn’t be the first time a team has changed their mind on such a subject. The New York Giants, after all, had said that they didn’t sign Beckham to a new deal to trade him… Until they did just that.

It’s hard to discount the possibility of Beckham being traded from the Browns, and according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Beckham isn’t afraid of being dealt back to one of the two teams in New York.

Now, from what I’ve heard, the Cleveland Browns are drawing a line in the sand and are not going to trade him. At least that’s what they say now. But we do know that the Jets need a number one receiver and from what I’m told by people who know Beckham, he is not afraid of a return to New York. That doesn’t mean he wants to come to the Jets.

While the Jets might seem like the likelier landing spot in the city for Beckham, the Giants may have a different management by the time any deal is done. There’s no guarantee GM Dave Gettleman keeps his job this offseason, after a historically bad second year, and Gettleman was one of the driving factors behind trading Beckham away in the first place.

If the architect of the trade is gone, it may be possible for the outcome to be reversed come this offseason.

Is it still a longshot? Yes. On the other hand, however, the Giants are in need of receiving help with the combination of Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate not quite being enough to make up for lost production this year. Could that help come in the form of a return to the previous combination of Beckham and Shepard? It’s not entirely as impossible as it seems.

The New York Giants Might As Well Reunite With Odell Beckham Jr.

At this point, the New York Giants may as well reunite with Odell Beckham Jr., their former prodigy of a receiver who has also been somewhat down on his luck this year after being dealt to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason. That move, however, was carried out under the regime of Dave Gettleman, who may not return to the General Manager position this offseason.

Any argument for Beckham ending up a Giant again would assume two things. First, that Gettleman won’t be the GM of the team going into this offseason. The Giants may be reluctant to get rid of another GM, and after only a couple offseasons at that, so there’s a chance that they don’t even make the change that would almost certainly lead to another attempt at a full rebuild. Second, it assumes that the post-Gettleman front office believes that the Beckham trade was an ill advised idea.

It’s true, of course, that it looks like this might be a down season for Beckham. There’s still games to be played but at this point he has 805 yards and will likely head in for surgery after the season. The Browns as a team in general haven’t done much better this year. At 6-7 as of now, they aren’t the Super Bowl contenders that many predicted during the offseason. They aren’t even playoff contenders.

According to reports, it seems like Beckham is getting desperate to get out of Cleveland – and why wouldn’t he be? He never asked to be traded to the Browns and would likely have preferred to stay with the Giants. It’s clear from social media and press conference remarks that Beckham took offense with the decision by the Giants to send him off, something that was partly done for off the field reasons.

Dave Gettleman has shown a preference for getting rid of outspoken players, even if those said players are team leaders, but that might not be a factor in the future. The Giants could very well have a new General Manager who may have different views on players like Beckham.

Beckham becoming available in the offseason via trade isn’t necessarily far fetched – even if this season is a down season, playing for the Browns is something of an automatic excuse. Considering the reputation of the Browns and their quarterbacking play, it’s not reasonable to say that one bad season there is going to drop the value of a receiver too much in the eyes of many teams.

But could the Giants be one of the teams interested in making a trade?

If the Browns really are going to move Beckham at a reduced rate because of his apparently outspoken desire to get out of Cleveland, the Giants certainly have pieces to move, that might be on their way out any way due to the lack of success that the Giants’ current team composition has had over the past couple of years.

The Browns might have a hard time getting Beckham’s full value, based on the results of this season. But a package offering Janoris Jenkins, Nate Solder, and a draft pick – or something else along those lines, might be enough for the two sides to reach an agreement if the Browns do decide that they want to move on and end the Beckham era after one year.

Of course, there’s debate to be had about whether or not the Giants regret moving their best receiver, but it’s safe to say that many of the decisions of the current front office regime will be questioned by the next one should Dave Gettleman end up replaced this offseason. The plans of making Sterling Shepard into the next Beckham haven’t worked either, for the Giants. Golden Tate hasn’t reached his full potential, missing time this season due to both suspension and injury.

It’s a long shot, but the Giants reversing their trade and bringing back their former star receiver might not be the impossibility that it sounds like at first glance.

New York Giants news, 12/7 – Is Odell Beckham Jr. the reason Saquon Barkely is struggling?

New York Giants, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Twitter never ceases to amaze me with its fan-driven narratives and absurd statements. The latest New York Giants related tweet I scratched my head about was regarding Saquon Barkley’s struggles and that Odell Beckham Jr. might have his hand in the cookie jar.

Aside from Beckham Jr. being shipped to the Cleveland Browns, there are far more justifiable reasons for Barkley’s lack of production. The first argument I made pointed directly at the high ankle sprain he suffered in week three and his statistical output after the injury.

The first two weeks of the seasons saw Barkley break the 100-yard rushing mark twice, since then, he’s amassed ove 72 yards just once over seven games, as he rushed for 83 yards last week against the Green Bay Packers in the snow. There’s a clear dropoff here, after he sustained the injury.

Now, let’s factor in the lack of offensive line support. The front five for the New York Giants currently rank 26th in the league, per FootballOutsiders.com. Left tackle Nate Solder has been a liability for Big Blue all season and left guard Will Hernandez hasn’t seen the development most hoped he would experience. Solder and center Jon Halapio have both contributed towards his plateau. Right guard Kevin Zeitler has been solid, but right tackle Mike Remmers has had his issues as well.

Aside from the lack of production in the trenches, dealing with a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones has been a work in progress. There have been times where Jones fails to recognize blitzes and dooms Barkley from the start. Eli Manning was far better at identifying defensive looks and audibling to help his players succeed. Manning was also known for his dump-off tactics, which benefited Barkley tremendously.

Overall, the OBJ factor in Barkley’s struggles could be present, but it’s so small it’s not even worth considering in the big picture.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

John Fennelly – Giants’ 2018 draft class has stumbled in Year 2

Carson Depp – New York Giants: Is Julian Love the future alongside Jabrill Peppers?

Mike Rosenstein – Head coach candidate to replace Giants’ Pat Shurmur comes with warning for Steve Tisch, John Mara from NFL insider

Ryan Dunleavy – Why Saquon Barkley could bust out now that Eli Manning is back

Tyler Henry – Bill Polian: Dave Gettleman has a plan for the Giants