A Tale Of Two Cities: Odell Beckham & Le’Veon Bell Fall Out
So now that it’s almost 24 hours since the Odell Beckham trade and the Jets signing of Le’Veon Bell I want to offer a fresh take on things.
Let’s start with the New York Jets. This was to be their offseason. The offseason where they had a boat load of money to spend on free agents. The amount was somewhere in the 100 million range. The Jets also own the # 3 overall pick in the draft. Oh and they have a brand new coaching staff. But it is now time to build around their young quarterback Sam Darnold.
You never know what twists and turns can happen once the offseason “legal tampering” period begins. You never know who is talking to what teams before the “legal tampering” period actually begins. It had to be fresh in the Jets’ minds that Kirk Cousins had spurned their offer and most likely used it to get a better offer from the Vikings when Anthony Barr did the same thing this year. So when it came down to the Le’Veon Bell offer the Jets put a hard deadline on him to accept the deal or it will be pulled. I give the Jets credit for that. It was the necessary move to make sure they got their man and were not used again.
But the Jets played a very dangerous game. In an off season and at a time where the Jets are thinking of making a big jump to the next level this was a move that absolutely needed to be made. With the Patriots winning another Super Bowl and looking at all of the draft picks they have this year Bill Bellichik will do what he always does and just re tool. So the demise of the Patriots is still not upon us.
Not only are the Jets looking to over throw the Patriots but I am sure they had a close eye on other AFC teams. The Chiefs are an offensive juggernaut and have Patrick Mahomes who is the best young quarterback in the game. They also have a top 5 Wide Receiver in Tyreek Hill and maybe the best Tight End in all of football in Travis Kelce. You have a team like the Los Angeles Chargers who won 12 games last year and are a very good team. You have the Baltimore Ravens with their hybrid quarterback Lamar Jackson now building around him.
Now you have the team, the Cleveland Browns and the quarterback, Baker Mayfield who will be forever linked with the Jets and Darnold making major moves. In fact, the Browns are now one full step above the Jets in terms of on the field talent. The Browns will have their own issues to deal with but talent wise there isn’t another team that has the offensive firepower they do. The Jets in my opinion were backed into a corner.
It really was a perfect match with Bell. The Jets had to absolutely sign him. Nothing was done to take the load off Darnold. Jameson Crowder does not do it for me. If Bell’s head is right, he is a great player and should be as fresh as he ever has after taking a year off. My only concern is that Bell just went to the team that offered him the most money. Also he would have made more money last year if he re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I wonder how motivated he is. Immediately the talk became of who is the best running back in New York. The Giants have Saquan Barkley and the Jets have Bell. As Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno correctly pointed out Bell has to do it in NY like Barkley did.
As for the Giants they are a different story. A day after the trade that shocked the world the Giants have some serious work and some serious decisions to make. Beckham was traded for a first and third round pick and Jabril Peppers. So one year after not drafting a quarterback instead taking Barkley who turned out to be the stud player they hoped he would be this team is at a serious crossroads.
Now this trade is the hottest topic in NY sports in a long time. Some hate it and some like it. Beckham is a tremendous talent. No question about it. His off the field antics are a bit too much and apparently the Giants just had enough. Do I really need to list them out?
Let’s start with taking all of the receivers to Miami the same week where most of them would be playing the biggest game of their lives. Eli was on point in the first half and Beckham had 2 key drops with one being a touchdown. So in the biggest game he ever played in Beckham was a failure. There was the interview on ESPN with Little Wayne by his side. What. This was after he got his money and he still said he was not happy in NY. How many times did he act up on the sidelines?
It comes to that age old saying. We were losing with him and we can lose without him. To tell you the kind of guy Beckham is he has already rumored to be looking for a new contract one year after signing his extension. I say good riddance.
Are the Giants a better team after this trade? Of course not. You would be a fool if you think that. They have not replaced the production Beckham gives them yet. I say yet because we need to see the finished product. That finished product will come out of the draft and not by signing free agents. Next offseason the Giants will have 100 million in cap space to play with.
Giants fans are asking where is the direction of this team heading? It looks like they are now regularly late to the dance with all of their moves. Is Eli Manning still going to be the quarterback this year? And if not why wasn’t he already released so he could sign somewhere else and more importantly the Giants could sign players for the upcoming season. It is clear the Giants are in full blown rebuild mode.
I have to stress again before you pass judgement on this trade and the plan GM Dave Gettleman has please wait for the finished product. There are moves to be made. The Giants own 12 draft picks this year with 4 coming in the top 100 picks and 2 in the top 17 picks. There could be trades being discussed right now and if it were me there is one team I am on the phone with right now.
I would be calling the Arizona Cardinals and asking about the availability of Josh Rosen. I would even offer my 3rd round pick. What we don’t know is how this GM viewed Rosen before last year’s draft. Clearly Barkley was his man and he was not wrong. But it is possible they also liked Rosen. We don’t know. I would not in any way shape or form trade any of my first round picks for Rosen. I don’t even want to trade my second rounder for him. If the Giants need to ante up another pick that is not in the first 2 rounds I seriously do consider making this trade.
Next I have 3 picks in the top 37 of this draft. Hopefully I have Rosen already secured so I can draft a defensive edge rusher with the 6th pick. With the 17th pick I can just look for the best player available and the Giants do have some holes to fill specifically at defensive back and now wide receiver. That is 3 top players your adding to your team along with Rosen.
There are a few good veteran wide receivers on the market to sign. Clearly no one can replace the production that Beckham had. But you can get a couple of players to be leaders and to teach the younger receivers how to really play the game and also still be productive enough to be effective. I like Golden Tate and Michael Crabtree. I do look for the Giants to draft a receiver or two this year.
Next up I check over my roster for any player who might not fit the direction this team wants to go and ship them out for draft picks.
It’s all out there for Gettleman to make it happen. He is now fully entrenched on the hot seat and he must draft wisely and fill all the holes.