New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr.’s antics off the field have been increasingly worrisome as of late. Is this a phase that will pass or is his career legacy in danger?
Since the day he entered the NFL, there have always been rumblings about New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr’s diva-like status. Let’s face it — he’s talented and he knows it. Sure, he would throw the occasional tantrum here and there, just as any other young, gifted athlete does. However, he has failed to show all that much maturity as his time in the NFL has increased. I could even be argued that he has instead become more immature.
Beckham’s latest stunts include skipping OTAs to privately practice with Johnny Manziel and party in Hollywood. Some football fans feel like a star player missing OTAs is not a big deal, but it has New York Giants fans a little on edge.
After an emotionally tumultuous season where he consistently stole the spotlight for his outbursts on the sideline, Beckham should have really been set on making an appearance at OTAs to show his teammates that he is there as part of the team.
Physically, there is no doubt that Beckham is fit enough to come back for mandatory camp and make a splash as always. However, his outbursts on the field this past season and personal choices as of late make it questionable as to how much the team as a unit means to him, rather than just Odell Beckham Jr only.
More from NFL Spin Zone
Whether or not he is purposefully not showing up to Giants OTAs due to this being the last season of his rookie contract without an extension remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure — he needs to start stepping up. He’s been in the league now since 2014 and needs to take a more proactive role in being a leader for the wide receiving squad and incoming rookies. This is a critical time for that group, one where Beckham has been around for long enough to know that he should play an instrumental role.
At this very moment in time, the only thing these rookies have to look to for guidance is a bunch of childlike tantrums. Let us review some of the major outbursts we saw from Beckham in the past few seasons, shall we?
Oct. 4, 2015: Beckham punched Bills safety Duke Williams in the face, along with a handful of the team’s other players as witnessed by just about anybody who had access to a televised version of the game that day. Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore described Beckham’s behavior perfectly that day, when he said (via SB Nation):
“It’s kind of like you’re playing your little brother and he gets mad at you for being too physical with him. He’s a prima donna. He feels like he’s on top of the world and nobody’s supposed to do anything to him.”
Jan. 8, 2017: After the Giants’ Jan. 8 loss to the Green Bay Packers in this past year’s playoffs, Beckham pulled an Amar’e Stoudemire and reportedly punched a hole in the Packers’ visiting team locker room. Wait, it gets better. Beckham then proceeded to say a few choice words (per NESN) to a Packers grounds crew member after he simply requested that the Giants receiver calm down.
2017 also contained two season-long affairs: One with a kicking net and the other with cornerback Josh Norman. Yes, Norman is beyond annoying, but OBJ easily stooped to his level when he started acting like a child and reciprocating the behavior.
These are just some of the major tantrums he threw — in addition to all of the minor ones Giants fans saw over the course of his career — with last year being a particularly rough one. Maybe this is why it seems as if wide receivers in the NFL are some of the biggest divas, because they set such fabulous examples for those coming into the league. Never mind the fact he’s skipping these OTAs to spend time with an assumedly washed-up Johnny Manziel…
Back in January, Giants fans were concerned when he decided to party on a boat the weekend before a playoff game. Now he’s voluntarily practicing with a guy whose life has been spiraling out of control since Day 1 (though all reports indicate he’s been back on track of late).
Beckham seems to be living it up in Hollywood too, as he’s been spotted out with songstress Iggy Azalea, the ex-fiance of Lakers’ Nick Young. But why does it matter who Odell Beckham Jr. parties with? The answer is simple: The concern lies in the decisions that come with the highly publicized road that he’s choosing to travel down.
Whatever Odell Beckham does in his private time is up to him, but when the threat of it hurting the New York Giants and his own career emerges, that’s when it comes under the microscope of the public eye.
Yes, there are many concerns in Beckham’s lack of maturity in the past few years. However,the overarching concern is, if he continues down this path, what effect will it have on his career? Will his off-field storylines (and some on-fiedl) overshadow his numbers? This is the primary concern that most Giants fans have and rightfully so.
Source: Fox Sports