In a vacuum, the negative reaction to this trade is valid as the Giants essentially paid Beckham $21 million for 12 games played in a 5-11 season.
Now, the Giants wasted a year and will incur a $16 million dead money hit this season adding to their already substantial total. They also paid Beckham $21.5 million for 12 games last season.— Antonio Matticoli (@AntonioMatticol) March 13, 2019
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While that might seem like a waste of money, it becomes more reasonable when you take a look back to the Giants predicament when it came to OBJ a year ago.
Last year, Beckham was coming off a brutal season-ending ankle injury that required reconstructive surgery. While there was optimism that he was going to return to form, that was never a guarantee.
Along with the injury hindering his trade value, Beckham was also seen in a viral video partying with an Instagram model which showed what appeared to be a blunt in his ear and a white powdery substance on the bed.
This became a huge story, highlighting both the on- and off-the-field drama that surrounded Beckham in his first four seasons in the NFL.
Still, the Giants pursued a trade as they hoped to receive two first-round picks for their superstar receiver.
The New York Giants are asking for at least two first-round draft picks in return for three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. https://t.co/tiq6CqnGLD— Madison Hager (@madisonpresss) March 28, 2018
When the trade offers never materialized, the Giants were forced to address Beckham’s contract as it was assumed he would not play under the last year of his rookie deal without a massive extension.
Instead of risking a Le’Veon Bell-like scenario, in which Beckham sat out a season, the Giants gave the receiver five-year deal worth up to $95 million.
While the money looked great on paper, the guaranteed money was all front-loaded to the first two years of the deal and the signing bonus. This indicated that the Giants plans for Beckham did not stretch past 2020.
Now the Giants have pulled a trigger on a trade that nets them a first-round pick, a third-round pick and 23-year-old safety Jabrill Peppers.
Whether you value draft capital more than Peppers, it's safe to say that the Giants got close to the value they were searching for last year with the two first-round picks.
It's much easier to dismiss the Giants as being stupid by trading a talent like OBJ, but there is actually a lot of merit to this deal upon further examination.
For one, Beckham playing under the spotlight of the New York media was always a ticking time bomb, which continued to blow up in their face time and again. Also, Beckham was likely to hold out for more money again following the upcoming season, as evidenced by his desire for the Browns to restructure to his contract following the trade.
Wait, so Odell Beckham wants to restructure his 5 year, $90M contract that BEGINS on Wednesday afternoon? https://t.co/2JcPRqFmf1— Gregg Torlone (@GTorlone) March 13, 2019
Had Beckham stayed, the Giants could have ended up in an Antonio Brown situation where they received barely any compensation for the asset.
In the end, Dave Gettleman was able to turn a long-disgruntled and injury-prone player into some much-needed draft capital and a viable starting safety.
Now, if the Giants use that capital to get the quarterback of the future, then this trade will be looked upon much differently by Giants fans.