Eli Manning was glad to see Odell Beckham Jr. at the Giants’ facility on Monday for the first day of the offseason training program. He knows, however, that Beckham’s presence may not last. And it seems as if he is OK with that.
“Odell, he’s got to do what is best for him in getting ready to play this upcoming season,” Manning said on a conference call on Monday. “I’ll talk to him and give my two cents on everything, but he’s got to do what he feels is best for him to get ready and play at a high level.”
That could mean staying in New Jersey with the team. Or it could mean returning to Los Angeles to continue his rehab from ankle surgery there. Or, with Beckham’s penchant for popping up on social media around the globe, it could mean any of a thousand other permutations.
Beckham did not attend Manning’s unofficial passing camp at Duke University last week, where the quarterback and a handful of offensive players — including Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman and Evan Engram — came together for some work before the start of the offseason program.
“I talked to Odell and it was just a matter of what he’s doing in his rehab to get back healthy and it just wasn’t going to make sense for him to kind of make that trip if you can’t do all the routes and do everything,” Manning said. “He’s got his thing through the Giants and what he’s doing and they have their plan for his rehab and I didn’t want to get into that, so we were on the same page, talked about it and it just didn’t make sense.”
Beckham, of course, has been making headlines for a lot of reasons this offseason. He was the unwitting star of a short viral video with a French model and what appeared to be drugs.
“I don’t get caught up in offseason and videos and this or that,” Manning said. “That’s this kind of world today. Sometimes things come up. He’s got to deal with that, but I think he’ll handle that well and hopefully we’ll focus on getting back to playing football at a high level.”
There have also been rumors over the past few weeks of Beckham being traded.
“I think over the years you just can’t get caught up with what’s being said on TV or in the news or what people assume is happening,” Manning said of ignoring those reports. “It doesn’t help. You don’t know where these things get started or where it’s going. I think it’s important when those things happen to just have great communication with your coaches and with the ownership and whatnot and make sure everyone is on the same page. I never got too concerned with it. We all know the talent that Odell has and what he brings to the football field and I look forward to playing with him this year and for years to come.”