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Breaking Down the OBJ Drama

In the seven years I’ve had twitter, I have never utilized the “mute word” option. Yesterday, I got real close to taking advantage of it and ridding my timeline of any Odell talk.

Even though this off-season has been plenty exciting with free agency, it seems there wasn’t quite enough drama for everyone. In comes the infamous Odell video (of him lying in bed next to a supermodel, a pepperoni pizza, and what seems to be drugs). The seven second Snapchat was all it took for the internet to go nuts.

Granted, it’s definitely not a good look for the Giants wide receiver. He’s been in the spotlight before for his partying both in LA and his other favorite hot spot: Miami. When you’re a young star who’s been criticized before for their frat-boy tendencies, you should probably make a hell of an attempt to avoid putting yourself in comprising positions such as being the star of a Snapchat full of illegal things. Or get better friends. Either way, he made a mistake.

The release of the video wasn’t timed PERFECTLY with the NFL Owners Meetings, but it was damn near close enough for it to be a major topic with Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, GM Dave Gettleman, and new head coach Pat Shurmur down in Orlando.

Combine the video with the news that Odell “will not set foot on a field without a new contract extension agreed to.” (Per NFL Network) and you’ve got yourself weary fans and sports media members drooling. There’s nothing sports media loves more than riling up a fan-base with weak rumors that their star could be in a different uniform come the beginning of the season.

Odell’s desire for a new long-term contract seems to be about just that-wanting to get paid and secure a spot for the long haul. A similar standoff happened last season, with Odell not showing up for the Giants off-season program. It was never settled exactly why he didn’t show up, but many speculate it had something to do with wanting to rework a new contract, says SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. Last season could have been a perfect opportunity for the young stud to prove a long contract was what he deserved, but of course a broken ankle in Week 5 threw a slight wrench in that plan.

Monday afternoon felt like a haze for Giants fans. Mara was stirring the pot by answering reporters questions about Odell in very vague terms, while Co-owner Tisch seemed to doubt Odell would be in anything but blue come August. Hour by hour, we went from being reassured that an Odell trade was “highly unlikely”, to hearing that nobody on the roster was safe given the 3-13 record the team delivered last season (fair enough).

In comes the NY Daily News to really mix things up. NYDN reporter Pat Leonard dropped an article late Monday afternoon headlined “Odell Beckham being pursued by LA Rams in possible trade for Giants dynamic wide receiver: sources.” Cue another twitter explosion. It’s not everyday I trust such a click bait headline, but the article combined with the Giants front office dodging questions about Odell and not giving a clear statement on the possibility of trading Odell had me slightly nervous.

While it seems to be true the Giants have fielded calls from team(s) inquiring about Odell, it also seems that they are not actively seeking to trade him. If you don’t trust me, take Mara’s word, “He’s not on the block. Is that going to stop clubs from possibly calling us? No. But he’s not on the block. We’re not shopping him around.”

Though Gettleman walked into this locker room and immediately started making moves left and right, it doesn’t appear the team intends to get rid of Odell. Perhaps the owners dodging questions about Odell and saying they’re sick of being asked about him isn’t necessarily a reflection of their thoughts on his “bad” behavior. Perhaps they’re simply tired of the media being obsessed with scrutinizing the 25-year-old’s every move and constantly pushing the party boy narrative on them.

Though this week has been more confusing than a girl trying to pick where to get dinner, Odell Beckham has two working ankles, and is on the Giants roster, so that’s what I’m focusing on.


Photo: USA Today Sports

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