Odell Beckham Jr: Stop making OBJ out to be a criminal

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Odell Beckham (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Odell Beckham (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Odell Beckham Jr. has made a few questionable off-field decisions and the New York Giants are now reportedly willing to listen to trade offers on the star wide receiver. But OBJ is not a bad guy.

An all-out brawl with Josh Norman in the middle of a game. The party boat trip in Miami the week before a playoff game. Punching a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field. The saga with a kicking net that ended in a marriage proposal. A touchdown celebration acting like a dog relieving himself in the end zone. A video holding what appeared to be a brown cigarette with white powder in the room. Those are the many antics and off-field “issues” that have plagued Odell Beckham Jr. in his young New York Giants career.

I’ll admit that list is somewhat lengthy but what you don’t see on that list are any arrests or domestic violence issues or anything that would make OBJ a criminal.

Has Odell made mistakes and questionable decisions? Absolutely. He 100% could have handled his beef with Norman better. Taking the trip to Miami could’ve waited until after the playoffs. He needs to learn to control his emotions better. And he should watch who he’s hanging out with and prevent “friends” from recording his every move.

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Should Beckham be traded because of what he’s done when the ball isn’t in play? No! This guy is the entire Giants offense. If he’s going to score 10+ touchdowns a year, you live with him pretending to be a dog urinating after one of them. If he’s going to have 90+ receptions a year, you live with him hitting the kicking net after he can’t haul in a catch. After three straight 1,300+ yard seasons, if Odell wants to punch a hole in the wall after a playoff loss, you go grab the spackle and start filling it in.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a generational type talent. He’s not someone you ship off because he’s a distraction and then go find another player like him. There is no other player like him.

Even if the Cleveland Browns offered up the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, who would you take that could have an OBJ-like impact on the offense? Saquon Barkley? Perhaps he could be a similar game changer but wouldn’t you rather the Giants draft Barkley second overall and have the two playmakers in the same offense?

Odell Beckham Jr. is not Ray Rice. He’s not Greg Hardy. He’s not Johnny Manziel. OBJ isn’t even Josh Gordon. He’s a passionate football player who wants nothing more than to win a Super Bowl. He wears his heart on his sleeve and sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him. We’ve probably all done that a time or two in our lives.

I want a guy on my team who hates losing. That’s what I want in a teammate. I’m not alone in thinking this because you don’t hear anyone inside the Giants locker room calling for OBJ’s head. None of Odell’s teammates find him to be a distraction. They love Beckham.

USA Today’s Art Stapleton said it best:

We are the ones making Odell Beckham Jr. out to be this bad guy. If he’s a distraction, it’s only because we are making him one. The news around a team is also always going to be extremely negative after a 3-13 season, especially in New York. Trade Odell and there will be plenty of 3-13 seasons to come for the Giants. Eli Manning and the Giants offense were completely lost after Beckham went down in Week 5 last season with a broken ankle.

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There are plenty of NFL players who are much worse off the field, but there aren’t too many who are better on the field than Odell Beckham Jr.