Last spring, it seemed as if Dave Gettleman took pleasure in dangling Odell Beckham Jr. and a potential trade of the wide receiver in front of a public that was lurching on every not-so-direct answer he gave. He shrugged and smiled when asked if Beckham was on the market, and he got a few phone calls from other general managers around the NFL regarding an asking price.
Ultimately, the Giants signed Beckham to a massive extension that could be worth $95 million through the 2023 season.
Even that signing has done little to quell chatter that already has begun this offseason regarding Beckham and a possible trade, though. So instead of participating in the fun, Gettleman on Wednesday decided to try to end it before it even ripens into full-blown rumor.
“We didn’t sign him to trade him, if that’s what you’re asking,” he said when asked if he is committed to Beckham being with the Giants. Asked to clarify and say definitively that Beckham will play for the Giants in 2019, he said: “You heard what I said.”
That’s not an iron-clad declaration that Beckham will be back. Just like last offseason, if a team would like to swoop in with a laundry basket of high-round picks looking to acquire Beckham, the Giants would be foolish not to listen. But Wednesday’s comment from Gettleman was the strongest indication he’s ever given – aside from the actual contract – that he wants Beckham to stay put.
This after an up-and-down season both on and off the field. It began with Beckham returning from ankle surgery and his infamous interview on ESPN in Week 5 when he groused about the weather in New York as opposed to Los Angeles and gave a meek defense of Eli Manning. It ended with him missing the last four games with a quad injury.
“The bottom line is, you want him on the field,” Gettleman said. “I have this crazy idea: he’s a great player, so let’s get him on the field. Unfortunately, he got the leg whip and those [quad injuries] can be funny things, they really can.”
Evaluating Beckham’s place in the Giants’ season also is a funny thing. They had their highest-scoring game of the season in the first week without him, followed by their lowest-scoring performance. They averaged 22.3 points per game in the 12 contests Beckham played and 25.5 in the four he did not.
“The offense did what it did with him and did what it did without him,” Gettleman said.
It seems likely the offense will have him in 2019.