Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the biggest stars in the NFL. He’s also one of the most polarizing. Some love his emotion and passion on the field, while others dismiss him as an immature crybaby. They also question his commitment to winning after vacationing in Miami right before a playoff game against the Packers.
Regardless of one’s feelings about Beckham, though, wasn’t the criticism of his decision to skip OTAs a tad overblown?
Maybe, maybe not.
“I don’t necessarily think it’s overblown because every single thing the guy does is enormous,” NFL Network analyst Kim Jones said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He’s one of the top 10 players in this league, as voted by his peers. He is remarkably interesting, he’s intelligent, he’s bright, his highlights are ridiculous – you forget how good he is because what you think of is that Packers playoff game when he, and others, did not play well. He had a couple drops in the game – three, I believe. Everything he does is a big deal.”
Jones, it is worth noting, did not have a problem with Beckham skipping OTAs, nor did she have a problem with him enjoying his offseason because, well, it’s the offseason. Some wondered if Beckham skipped OTAs to express discontent about his contract, but Jones doesn’t believe that to be the case.
“I don’t think this was contract-related,” she said. “This was not a hold-out. You can’t hold out from something voluntary. But for those wringing their hands about all this, Odell Beckham Jr. took the field in Week 5 of his rookie season, ran a route he never practiced, caught a pass from Eli on a throw Eli had never made to Beckham for a touchdown, for his first NFL touchdown. I remember asking Eli about it afterwards, and he said, ‘He never practices’ – and that was because of the hamstring. So this idea that he has to do this or that to be successful, I think he’s already proven that he can break the mold in some of those capacities. You also did not see the hand-wringing over the other players who missed OTAs.”
And most of them, if not all of them, don’t produce like Beckham does. The 24-year-old has averaged 96 catches for 1,374 yards and 11.7 touchdowns in three NFL seasons.
“Listen, Odell Beckham Jr. is an unbelievable talent,” Jones said. “I have no doubt he will be a Giant for life. That’s hard to say in the NFL. You see Peyton Manning change teams late in his NFL life. But I think for the foreseeable future, Odell Beckham Jr. will be a Giant. He will end up getting the long-term contract. What’s more important to me is how he’s received by his teammates. They absolutely love him. I could give you examples of it, but the best thing I could say to you is if they didn’t, you would hear about it – because someone anonymously would talk to a reporter who would be more than happy to write that.”