Tom Brady has a record of 7-3 in the Super Bowl. But did you know that two of his losses came at the hands of Eli Manning and the New York Giants? Those victories over The Goat capped the 2007 and 2011 seasons. Three years later, Odell Beckham, Jr. was drafted by the Giants, and the trips to the Super Bowl came to a screeching halt.
OBJ played five years for the Giants from 2014-2018. During that time, the Giants only had one winning season. Their overall record was 31-49. During the prior five years, 2009-2013, the Giants were 43-37. So, you could argue that the Giants went from being a winning franchise to being a losing franchise while employing OBJ. And the most important variable of all stayed steady during that period: the incredibly durable Eli Manning was the Giants QB, and only missed a single game between 2005-2018.
Today, we see OBJ dragging down Baker Mayfield’s stats whenever OBJ is on the field. As counter-intuitive as it may be, OBJ’s stats point to him as being Football Poison. The reason is very simple: OBJ is a narcissist who demands that the offense revolve around him. But, regardless of talent, that just doesn’t work in the NFL. Quite to the contrary. OBJ’s reality distortion field discombobulates his QB so much that the team suffers. Eli Manning could not make it back to the Super Bowl while being saddled with OBJ, and Mayfield won’t make it either.
So, OBJ is shooting himself in the foot.
However. Imagine if OBJ were to show up at training camp with a Nick Chubb attitude, right down to the no-nonsense haircut. Imagine if he didn’t beg for the ball. Imagine if he didn’t sulk and pout, and annoy Baker into throwing him low-odds passes. Imagine if he just let Baker read the defense, go through his progressions, and get the ball to OBJ only when it made actual sense.
Now that would be something. The Browns would win all the games.
The fact is that receivers like OBJ, Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, etc. have to expect to be doubled-teamed frequently. Sure, it might feel unfair to be punished for being talented, but it’s just the way the game is played. But, if you draw a double team, you are effectively taking two defenders off the field. Instead of it being 11-on-11, now it is 10-on-9, and a QB like Baker Mayfield is going to go to town against that kind of alignment. So, you give up some targets in exchange for your teammates balling out; in exchange for winning more games; in exchange for going to the Super Bowl.
It’s not a bad compromise. But does OBJ actually value a Super Bowl ring higher than he values his own narcissism? I don’t think that he does, and this is why the Browns need to wash their hands of him.
As the Soup Nazi might say: “No ring for you!”
Note: In 2019, the aging Eli Manning was replaced by Daniel Jones. So, we can’t look at that year to see if the Giants improved after trading OBJ because of the tectonic shift in the team.