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.