ORLANDO, Fla. — The Giants are not closing the door on trading Odell Beckham Jr. It’s just not one they expect to be going through at any time soon.
Amid swirling speculation that the star receiver could be on his way out of New York in a megadeal with a win-now organization, co-owner John Mara said on Tuesday that the team is far from that point and would rather it not happen at all.
“I don’t know how much more clearly I can say it: I don’t want [Beckham] to be traded,” Mara said. “I want him to be a Giant. But I can’t sit here and say it’s a 100 percent guarantee that will happen. I can’t say that about any player.”
As Newsday reported on Monday, if a team were to blow the Giants away with an offer, they would consider a move. That has not happened at these NFL meetings. There has been some sniffing around and questions about Beckham’s availability, which is what Mara likely hoped for when he started this whole narrative on Sunday by saying that Beckham was not untouchable via trade. Back then he also said that he would prefer not to deal Beckham, which became the fine print to the headline.
“There’s no harm in having people call you,” Mara said.
But for now, the Giants are not pursuing those overtures.
“He’s not on the block,” Mara said. “Is that going to stop clubs from possibly calling us? No. But he is not on the block. We’re not shopping him around . . . Do I want him to be traded? Absolutely not. I want him to be a Giant.”
That’s not something general manager Dave Gettleman was willing to say when he addressed the media earlier on Tuesday. He was asked point-blank questions about whether Beckham would be on the team in 2018 and if he would even like for him to be there, and Gettleman refused to answer, saying only that he is currently a member of the Giants.
He did say twice — and again in a radio interview shortly afterward — that he would follow the advice given to him by former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi: “You don’t quit on talent.”
Beckham certainly is talented. Perhaps more than any Giants player in history. Gettleman also was effusive in praising Beckham’s hatred of losing and his work ethic.
The other stuff? That still matters to the Giants. The videos, the antics, the aggravation. Mara stuck to what he said on Sunday when he described himself as frustrated and weary over having to answer questions regarding Beckham’s behavior.
If that was an ultimatum to mature, though, it did not come with a deadline of this week. Beckham is still not cleared to physically participate in the spring workouts after having ankle surgery last season. The Giants still want to see how he responds to their very public call-out. All of these things take time. Which the Giants have.
There may even be some thaw in the perceived frost between the Giants and Beckham. Despite reports that the receiver intends to hold out until he receives a new contract (he has one season remaining on his rookie deal), coach Pat Shurmur said on Tuesday that it’s his understanding Beckham will be in attendance for the first day of the offseason program on April 9. This after Shurmur had a meeting with Beckham in Los Angeles just last week.
“We’re not looking to get rid of him,” Mara said, grumpy at being asked to repeat himself. “I’d like him to be a Giant.”
In the NFL, what the owner likes the owner usually gets.