By Jordan Kendall, Assistant Sports Editor
I am in a state of shock and confusion right now. The New York Giants have traded wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. As a Giants fan, this makes absolutely no sense and has made me lose all trust in General Manager Dave Gettleman.
Safety Landon Collins was apparently too expensive to franchise tag and has agreed to play for the Washington Redskins. Yet quarterback Eli Manning is worth $23.2 million even though he has severely declined the past few seasons.
The logic here is mind-boggling. I understand we are in rebuilding mode, but that does not mean trading the best player we have. He is 26 years old and is likely going to play for at least six to eight more seasons.
To better understand my frustration, here is a brief background. The first football game I saw was the 2007 Super Bowl when the Giants shocked the world and defeated the New England Patriots to end their hope at going 19-0.
Seeing a team who no one gave a chance rally together and beat the Patriots made me fall in love with football and the Giants who I have supported unconditionally since. We have made some decisions I didn’t agree with, but this one is by far the worst.
To trade a player who is a generational talent in his prime is ridiculous. I understand he can lose his temper, but nowhere near as bad as former Pittsburgh Steeler Antonio Brown who was just traded to the Oakland Raiders. Unlike Brown, Beckham didn’t quit on his team and rallied his teammates to finish strong.
Beckham has arguably been the best receiver Manning has had in his career, and without Beckham, whether Manning is still in New York is a serious question. We drafted running back Saquon Barkley last year over a quarterback such as Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen. I questioned the move then and question it even more now.
Running backs’ careers last nowhere near as long as a wideout or quarterback on average and almost always decline once they reach 30 years old. This isn’t the same with a receiver or quarterback with many playing better as they age. Moves like these make me question whether we are trying to win now or rebuild.
Collins could have been franchise tagged for $11.15 million. He signed with the Redskins for $14 million per year. According to Gettleman, three million dollars is too much of a difference to keep a top five safety when the secondary has not been consistent since the Corey Webster and Kenny Phillips era.
We were in a rough situation already with the future uncertain. Not resigning Collins and trading Beckham sets us back even further.
To let go of your two best players within 48 hours is unacceptable. When people ask why the New England Patriots always seem to win, it’s because they can acquire and release talent and not lose a step.
If swapping wide receiver Danny Amendola for wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was a step last year, then Odell for wide receiver Sterling Shepard is an entire staircase. Shepard is a solid second or third option, but to make him the top target is going to end poorly.
Not every receiver can thrive as the top option, so unless tight end Evan Engram steps up in a big way, we will continue to struggle. Barkley is a generational talent, but our offensive line is a major question. Now that Beckham is gone, the focus he garnered from defenses will be on Barkley.
This hurts as a Giants fan, but it hurts even more for me. I spent half of my life supporting this team unconditionally and am currently studying journalism to pursue a career in sports writing.
This team has changed my life and I would not be here without them. For my 20th birthday, within a 48 hour span I get two presents in Collins signing with a division rival and now Beckham being traded; the perfect gift to give someone who has given so much support and love for so long.
Coming into the 2019 season, I am having serious doubts if I can continue to support this team. We seem to have no sense of direction going forward. The Philadelphia 76ers trusted the process. I guess it’s my turn now.