On a day where players across the NFL made bold political statements in direct defiance to President Donald Trump’s tweets, the biggest star in America’s biggest city made a statement of his own, though it was less political and more animalistic. After New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., one of the NFL’s most recognizable stars, scored his first touchdown of the season last Sunday, he proceeded to drop down onto all fours like a dog and pretend to urinate on the field. These antics ended up costing his team 15 yards and personally costing him upwards of $12,000 due to fines from the league office. In a game where the Giants were losing by two touchdowns to their division rival, Beckham’s penalty was not only unnecessary, but showed a complete lack of self-awareness that fans have now come to expect from the diva wide receiver. Fans remember when Beckham had a fight on the sidelines with a kicking net, only to propose to it, ring and all, the very next week. Others will remember the first two weeks of last season, when Beckham was penalized and fined $12,000 by the league for a celebration and then fined an additional $36,000 for yet another dirty hit on a defensive player.
Beckham is no different than many of the other talented yet high-maintenance wide receivers that came before him. Chad Johnson, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens were extremely gifted athletes who also came with a lot of baggage. The common theme among all of these men is their need to elevate themselves above anything else. They all spent much of their time engaging in petty public arguments, penalizing their own team and promoting themselves at the expense of their teammates. While these four receivers all have spectacular statistics that will most likely catapult them to the Hall of Fame, they also have zero Super Bowl rings among them. Beckham might be destined to meet a similar fate if he does not tone down his raucous behavior.
No one can deny that Beckham is a distraction. Another thing that is impossible to deny, however, is his talent. He has been a Pro Bowler in every season of his career thus far and consistently makes highlight reel catches on a weekly basis. Inarguably one of the best and most dynamic players in the league, the Giants have felt for years that they have no choice but to tolerate Beckham’s shenanigans as long as he keeps producing at record-breaking rates. Yet as the Giants continue to lose, people within the organization are going to start wondering if the young player’s contributions outweigh his immaturity.
With Beckham’s contract expiring sooner rather than later, Giants’ owner John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese are going to have to make the expensive decision of whether or not to break the bank for their star player. They will be faced with the difficult decision of decidin whether or not Beckham’s talent is enough to justify his antics on and off the field, and fulfill his expensive wish. That answer remains to be seen thus far this season.