Once considered the present and future of the New York Giants franchise, safety Landon Collins and receiver Odell Beckham were both abandoned by the Giants this offseason in moves that resulted in varying degrees of shock. In early March, without exercising the franchise tag. The next week, in
Except, not everyone was stunned by the Beckham trade. Collins,, recently explained why he wasn't shocked when the Giants traded away their best player and arguably the best receiver in the NFL, who is still only 26 years old.
According to Collins, the Giants always held the belief that Beckham was a "problem."
"Was I shocked with Odell? No, honestly, not," Collins told NJ Advance Media. "They felt like he was a problem the whole time. Ever since Odell stepped into the league with them, they felt like he was a problem, I felt like from the outside."
The problem with the Giants' reading of the situation? They might've felt that way, but according to Collins, the players in the locker room never did.
"We loved him," Collins said. "Odell is my brother. He is not that kind of guy, or what people think he is about or what the organization did. I don't know why."
It's undeniable that Beckham was involved in his fair share of controversies during his five-year run in New York. There were the Eli Manning under the bus. He would later apologize to the team when that interview aired.and . Not long after , Beckham and threw
The thing is, those distractions were often rendered unimportant when Beckham went out and performed like the incredible receiver he is, which he often did. Even after factoring in his injury shortened seasons (he's missed 21 games in his career), Beckham ranks seventh in receiving yards and third in touchdown catches since he entered the league in 2014. Only Julio Jones and Antonio Brown have averaged more receiving yards per game in that span.
The point being, while Beckham might've been considered a distraction by some, his contributions on the field should've been more important to the Giants. They should've valued his positive attributes more than his perceived negative ones, because a bad team like the Giants needs as many good young players as possible if they're hoping to become a Super Bowl-caliber team again. Instead, the Giants got rid of Beckham as Dave Gettleman continues to make bewildering move after bewildering move, with his decision to make Daniel Jones the sixth-overall pick serving as the most recent example.
Now Beckham is on to Cleveland, where Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, and a budding defense. Meanwhile, Collins is on to Washington with a team that just drafted its new franchise quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, who surprisingly fell to the middle of the first round in large part because the Giants passed on him at No. 6.That might not ever happen, but it's undeniable that Beckham has landed in a better situation with
"Honestly, I thought the Giants were going to take him," Collins told NJ Advance Media. "It slipped into our hands. I was like, 'Wow, we got the best quarterback. We stole the best quarterback in the draft. Awesome.'"
A few years ago, the idea of both Beckham and Collins playing elsewhere would've been preposterous. In 2016, Beckham exploded for his third straight 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown season, Collins earned a first-team All-Pro spot, and the Giants won 11 games. Since then, the Giants have gone 8-24, parted ways with their best offensive and defensive players, and drafted a quarterback at No. 6 that likely would've been there at No. 17 when they picked again.
At least the Giants got rid of a locker room distraction. That should help them win a lot of games.
In case it wasn't already clear, please note the sarcasm.