O'Hara: You Can't Trade "Generational Player" Like OBJ

Shaun O'Hara explained why the Giants should not trade Odell Beckham Jr. – or draft a quarterback with the sixth overall pick

Zach Gelb
February 22, 2019 - 9:10 am

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In past offseasons, it was his antics off the field. This offseason, it’s whether or not he’ll be traded.

Whatever the topic, it seems Odell Beckham Jr. just can’t stay out of the headlines.

“I think it’s pretty much the norm that we’re going to be talking about Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason,” Super Bowl champion and NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara told Zach Gelb, who was filling in as host of Ferrall on the Bench. “I think that people just talk about him because he’s a polarizing figure. Some people love him; some people don’t love the antics. I don’t see how we’re still talking about are they trying to trade him. You don’t trade a generational player like that – just like you wouldn’t trade Saquon Barkley two years from now. They signed him to a long-term deal because they expect him to produce.”

Beckham, 26, began his career with three straight seasons of 90+ catches, 1,300+ yards, and 10+ touchdowns. But he’s missed 16 games over the last two seasons.

“If I’m tight with Odell Beckham, I’m sure I’m having conversations with him about, ‘Hey, man, don’t you want to get back to them talking about your play on the field. Aren’t you sick of them talking about everything off the field? You got your contract, you got your money, let’s go – let’s do it,’” O’Hara said. “I think there’s a lot of motivation there for Odell, and I think that that’s when you want your players the most – when they’re hungry, when they’re motivated. I expect him to have a big year. If I’m OBJ, I know that Eli can still throw the ball. If I’m him, I’m dying to get back there and get in sync with Eli.”

The Giants have missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons. They have the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, and many analysts believe they must use it on a quarterback, especially after passing on Sam Darnold last year.

O’Hara, though, isn’t so sure about it.

“If I’m Dave Gettleman, I’m going to look at the bigger picture and say, ‘What do we need to make us a Super Bowl contender this year?’” O’Hara said. “Defense is what I’m looking at. When I look at my roster, I don’t have anybody on my roster that scares anybody. I don’t have anybody that’s taking over the game that teams have to game-plan for. So if someone like (Kentucky linebacker prospect) Josh Allen is available at six, that’s a slam dunk. I’m taking him. If I can get one of these pass-rushers, somebody that can win a one-on-one matchup, someone that can give me some good production this year, I don’t see any way that they get around it.”

The Giants finished 24th in total defense and 23rd in scoring defense (25.8 points per game allowed) last season.

“The Giants defense last year stunk,” O’Hara said. “Flat out. They couldn’t get off the field, they couldn’t get to the quarterback. Olivier Vernon had a couple of games where he was an impact payer, but he wasn’t a dominant player – and that’s what they need.”