We know what you’re trying to say, Odell. And honestly, you’re not wrong.
Odell Beckham Jr. recently went on the All Things Covered podcast to take another thinly veiled swipe at former Giants QB Eli Manning, who will be a Hall of Famer but shouldn’t be immune from criticism.
Beckham first started taking shots at the Giants, and his former QB, while he was still in New York. In a 2018 interview with ESPN, the star WR wondered if Eli was the right guy at QB and questioned the team’s offensive scheme. OBJ was traded to the Browns a few months later.
But before he took his first snaps in Cleveland, OBJ basically said he, alone, was the reason fans and broadcasters would flock to Giants games. This was seen by some as more shade directed at Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP.
“I felt like I was a main reason at keeping [the Giants] brand alive,” he told GQ. “People want to see the show. You want to see me play. That’s just real rap. I’m not sitting here like, ‘It’s because of me.’ But let’s just be real. That’s why we’re still getting prime-time games.”
On the CBS Sports podcast, OBJ continued to throw subtle jabs at his former team and former QB. In the episode, Beckham said that he was “speaking the truth” but you can tell he chose his words carefully.
He called Eli “a little older” and doubled down on previous criticisms of the QB, saying he was “not the same player” he had been before Odell. He also said that the 2016 Giants, who went to the playoffs, were “only good because of the defense.”
Before that January 2017 playoff game, OBJ and three other Giants were infamously spotted partying on a yacht in Florida. That weekend, the Giants lost to the Packers. Beckham hasn’t played in a playoff game since.
In the two seasons that followed, the Giants went 3-13 and 5-11.
Odell said he “felt like we had the pieces” to return to the playoffs in those years, but “felt like they never put people around Eli” to succeed.
But, to the Giants’ credit, they did try.
New York drafted offensive weapons like Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. Big Blue also addressed their offensive line in the draft, taking linemen in 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018, as well as signing Nate Solder in 2018. Despite the additions, the offensive line was still atrocious, leaving no time for an immobile QB like Manning to make plays.
So what is Odell really trying to say here?
“I feel like, at the end of my career I will be able to tell everybody the real truth of all this shit. I’ll come out and tell everybody everything,” he said. “For the meantime, it just saves me drama when I don’t speak on it too much.”
But the drama comes when OBJ dances around what he really wants to say. Maybe the pieces were there. Maybe Eli was just plain bad in his last few years as a Giant. That’s not a hot take.
It looks like we won’t hear that from Odell, though, until his post-football tell all book or exclusive documentary.