Phil Simms doesn’t quite understand the reasoning behind the Giants’ shocking trade this week of Odell Beckham Jr., but the former Super Bowl winning quarterback believes the team won’t necessarily be worse off because of Beckham’s departure.
“Confused, I’m confused,” Simms told his son, former Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms, on “Chris Simms Unbuttoned” on NBC Sports. "[Beckham] is one of the top 10 players in the league. Now, we don’t know everything that goes on within the organization and in the locker room, all those things we’re probably not going to get out for a while, maybe ever.”
But Simms believes the “Giants felt they really had no other choice, [that] this would be the best thing for their football team. We’ll see how it works out.”
Simms said second-year coach Pat Shurmur may actually benefit from Beckham’s departure because it will free him up to run his offense without worrying about keeping Beckham happy with the number of targets.
“When you have a receiver like this, you gotta keep him happy, keep him involved,” Simms said. “With that pressure off the Giants now, Pat Shurmur is gonna run the offense he truly wants to run and let the ball go wherever it takes them.”
Simms believes Eli Manning will remain the quarterback in 2019 and that the team won’t necessarily take a quarterback early in the draft. The Giants have the sixth overall pick, as well as No. 17 acquired from Cleveland in the Beckham trade.
“I don’t think the Giants are looking at this as a total rebuild,” Simms said. “I think it’s, ‘Here we go, let’s get it done.’ Will the Giants take a QB in the first round? I don’t think they will. I think they’ll wait to get one in the second round. If you’re not sold big time on Kyler Murray [of Oklahoma] or Dwayne Haskins [of Ohio State] … I think there are capable quarterbacks in the second round. Once you take [a quarterback] at No. 6, it’s [fans saying] ‘Come on, we want the new guy [to play].’ You create confusion and you upset what you’re trying to accomplish.”
If not a quarterback, then which direction will the Giants go early in the draft?
“This draft is the most loaded on the defensive side that I can ever remember,” Simms said. “Everybody’s going to be looking for these difference makers on the defensive front. I think the Giants will be part of that. I think they’re going to go all out one more time, rebuild this defense.”
As for Manning, Simms believes there is still some good football left in the 38-year-old quarterback.
“From what I saw at the end of the [2018 season], I do think he can be successful,” Simms said. “I think Pat Shurmur is a really good play-caller. As they settled down last year and played some lesser teams, we saw more of what they want to be. Fixing this [offensive] line a little bit, it’s like the old saying: When you move the sun one degree closer to Earth, Earth explodes.”
The key will be making second-year tailback Saquon Barkley the centerpiece of the offense.
“Can we just give him a few more opportunities to make big plays?” Simms said. “And if you do, my gosh. He will be just as dynamic a player like an Odell Beckham Jr. that he can change defenses and change your football team. You just gotta give him enough chances to do that for you.”