News is circulating that New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. is willing to hold out until his contract is extended. It’s even plausible that he leaves New York all together. Even so, the New England Patriots should not pursue a trade for the wide receiver.
Odell Beckham Jr. is a great player, no doubt about it. But there’s a difference between being a great player, and the right player. In the words of legendary coach Herb Brooks in the movie Miracle, “I’m not looking for the best players, Craig, I’m looking for the right ones”. In the case of the New England Patriots, Odell Beckham Jr. is not the right player.
There’s no denying that Beckham has been a standout performer in his few years in the NFL. In his 47 career games played, he’s accumulated an impressive 313 receptions, 4424 yards, and 38 touchdowns. But could his production in a Patriots uniform be nearly as impressive?
On The Field
Josh McDaniels’ offensive scheme revolves around precision and execution. Heading the attack, obviously, is Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time. But in recent years, Brady’s surgical maneuvering of the offensive unit has been due to quick strikes and diversity. He targets a plethora of receivers every game and there isn’t one receiver who always leads the team in targets, receptions, and yards.
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Odell Beckham Jr., on the other hand, is the focal point of the Giants offense when healthy. He averages an insane 10.6 targets per game. That target-rate would be unsustainable on the New England Patriots, who had no player exceed 7.5 targets per game in 2017 (Rob Gronkowski). With Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell returning for the 2018 season, there just wouldn’t be enough targets left for OBJ.
In addition, there’s no true role for Beckham to fill. Brandin Cooks, who had a solid year, has cemented himself as the Patriots deep threat for the foreseeable future, and Edelman will be lining up in the slot once he returns from his injury.
Lastly, the Randy Moss comparisons are outdated. Brady and Moss had an incredible connection, but the duo hasn’t been together since 2010. Just because Beckham is a talented, athletic freak, doesn’t mean he would accrue Moss-like numbers.
Off The Field
This section speaks for itself. Beckham’s actions off the field have led him to be categorized alongside Beyonce as a “diva”. He’s been seen getting in fights, punching holes in walls, and causing all sorts of trouble. These things don’t necessarily speak to the kind of man he is, but they show that he isn’t right for the Patriots, who live under the radar.
If Odell Beckham Jr. threw one of his tantrums under Bill Belichick’s roof, he wouldn’t see the field for weeks a la Jonas Gray.
The Patriots pride themselves on having a set way of doing things and staying above distractions. In my opinion, Beckham would cause too many of said distractions. He’s an insanely talented receiver, but his off-field issues and on-field breakdowns have shown that he’s not a good fit for the New England Patriots.
Finally, the Patriots would have to give up something very significant to land the superstar wideout. But why do that when we can go to the local grocery store and find a 5’9” guy to fill any void we may have at wide receiver? It’s just not economical.
So while Beckham and the Giants are having trouble in paradise, the Patriots should sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. After their practice and film sessions, that is.