New York Giants owner John Mara is apparently frustrated with his top playmaker Odell Beckham Jr., – the NFL’s highest-paid Wide Reciever – after a controversial ESPN interview.
All-Pro Odell Beckham Jr. said the Giants have to play with heart and have to start throwing the ball downfield more in an interview with ESPN that aired Sunday, October 7th before a Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
ESPN First Take’s Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman debated about Mara being critical on Odell, Tuesday Morning (see video below).
Speaking at the NFL’s fall meeting in New York on Tuesday, Mara said he believed that Beckham was drawing attention for the wrong reasons.
“I wish he would create the headlines by his play on the field as opposed to what he says and what he does off the field,” said Mara whose team is tied for the league’s worst record at 1-5.
In the interview (see video below) that aired nine days and two more Giants losses ago, Beckham questioned quarterback Eli Manning, coach Pat Shurmur and his willingness to stay in New York just weeks after signing a $95 million contract.
“I don’t know,” Beckham replied when asked if Manning is an issue for Giants, who fell to 1-5 after that interview aired. “Like I said, I feel like he’s not going to get out the pocket. He’s not — we know Eli’s not running it. But is it a matter of time issue? Can he still throw it, yeah, but it’s been pretty safe and it’s been, you know . . . cool catching shallow [routes] and trying to take it to the house. But I’m, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody.”
Manning has won two Super Bowls with the Giants, but they were 3-13 last season and this year holds little hope for improvement.
Questions are swirling about Manning’s decline at the age of 37, and about his team’s apparent refusal to consider moving on. The Giants chose running back Saquon Barkley rather than a quarterback with the second pick in the NFL draft, a decision that supplied endless tabloid headlines. They’ve also watched their stadium-mates, the Jets, have early success with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who was the third pick in the draft.
Mara called Manning, who turns 38 in January, the “punching bag” for all that ails the Giants, and defended the team’s decision to select Barkley.
“We took the best player in the draft,” Mara told reporters. “I’m thrilled with what he’s accomplished so far and I think the sky’s the limit for him. ”
Shurmur asked Beckham to speak to his teammates about the interview and the Giants fined the receiver, who has 45 catches for 506 yards and one touchdown this season.
I am not sure what Mara’s goal is but I cannot see how this criticism is productive. While I ride with Eli, I do think it may be time to admit his best days are behind him and it may be time for the team to move in another direction as the did with Phil Simms (Superbowl XXI) and Jeff Hostetler (Superbowl XXV) – who filled in for an injured Simms, who broke his foot a few weeks before the playoffs – the only other quarterbacks to lead the Giants to Superbowl victory.
Odell may make more headlines in the game if you get him a quarterback who can get his the damn ball. To me, Mara’s comments despite to a player on his team are just shorts Fox News Journalist Laura Ingraham’s ‘shut up and dribble’ comment to LeBron James. The highest paid Wide Receiver in the league should be able to express his frustration for his teammates play without being called out by an owner who is defending a quarterback who went 3-13 last year and is 1-5 so far this year. When he signed Odell he knew what he was getting. I’m Just Saying!