Having a player like Beckham on my favorite team has honestly been kind of illuminating about how the modern sports media works for me. I more or less understood it, but it really highlights the entirety of everything that makes the perpetual 24 hour sports news cycle of nonsense work.

Beckham is a big name. He’s popular for both good and bad reasons. He’s a personality that naturally generates strong opinions. Lots of people love him. Lots of people hate him. Nobody can stop talking about him, which generates more content, which generates more hate or love, which etc etc etc. That’s how John Mara saying a completely reasonable thing (To paraphrase: “We went 3-13, we aren’t looking to trade him, but after a season like that nobody is untouchable) somehow turned into a two day media frenzy at the peak of which seemed like Beckham was 100% being traded. It was fucking stupid.

But it was amazing to watch it work. Mara says the thing. Noted buttmunch Pat Leonard of noted buttrag The New York Daily News decides to get his name in the papers and run with that quote out of necessary context, playing up the possibility of a trade. This speculation, fueled by it being about a very attention grabbing player, churns the content machine. Articles about “could Beckham be traded” gives way to loads of content and radio talk like:
-Why would the Giants trade Beckham?
-What is Beckham worth?
-Why Beckham should be traded
-Why Beckham should not be traded
-What teams are interested?
-Where would be a good fit should Beckham be traded?
-How does Beckham fit into the new Giants regime’s plans?
-Could his coke pizza video and other antics have caused this?
-etc etc etc

The nonsense caused such an uproar that at one point I checked the NFL subreddit and 1/3rd of the front page was posts related to Beckham. It was obscene. All because Mara basically said “We aren’t looking to trade him, but people are free to call, sure”. It got stupid enough that Mara and Tisch had to come out with clarifying remarks trying to emphasize that no, the Giants were not actively trying to trade Beckham. Fuck you, Pat Leonard.

The weirdest part about this to me was the story about his pizza video never got half this much chatter. When that broke I audibly said “uh oh this is gonna get ugly” to myself. It never really got that big. Beckham’s pizza video doesn’t have the content generating potential a trade does. Speculation gets the views. It makes some sense. Speculation is a fun conversation for fans, the media is probably smart to jump on it.

There’s still a possibility that he ends up traded. There was always a small possibility, which was Mara’s original comment. I think there are very few untradable players in the NFL, it’s just that many of these players would command such a steep price that no team would be willing to do it. It’s happened like, twice in NFL history. Hershel Walker and Ricky Williams are the obvious cases. Both ended very badly for the team that gave up the ransom. But if you are the Texans, and the Browns call up offering 3 1st rounders and 2 seconds for JJ Watt, you’d better believe the GM is going to at the very least consider it. Not even Brady truly felt untouchable these past few seasons with Belichick running the show.

Beckham is currently said to be on the market for at least 2 first rounders, which seems fair to me. I don’t think any team is going to do it and I don’t expect him to be in a different uniform next year. On top of the steep asking price, Beckham has one year left on his rookie deal and by all accounts wants that mega money for his next contract. If a team wants him, they need to be willing to part with 2 first rounders, minimum, for basically a year rental unless they have the cap space to go all in.

Now you can endlessly speculate about whether Beckham should be traded, where he might go, and what he’s worth in the comments below! Please be sure to like, comment, and subscribe.