This gonna be a long one so strap in.

OBJ has had a really fascinating career so far. Looking at him now, it’s easy to forget where we once were with him. He’s 29, could possibly still have a career resurgence ahead of him on whatever team he ends up on, adding an entire new fascinating chapter to his story. I want to take a moment to relive the OBJ story up to this point.

Beckham’s first appearance on this site was his draft card. I didn’t know who he was. I was mad we drafted a wide receiver. He was the 3rd WR drafted behind Sammy Watkins (yikes!) and Mike Evans (good!). We had Cruz and Nicks, WR didn’t feel like a massive need. He missed the first few games of the season with a hamstring problem and even at the time I remember Giants fan spaces were getting mad about us potentially picking another bust.

Then he came in against the Falcons and caught a sick touchdown and all was forgiven. We immediately knew this guy was different. He put up great performances in the next two games and he quickly became a new favorite. That’s when the Cowboys game happened.

With one play Odell went from a cool rookie to watch to one of the most popular players in the league. I still think that catch might be the best catch I’ve ever seen. Not the greatest catch, it was a 2nd quarter touchdown in a midseason loss, but the best catch I’ve ever seen someone make. I think a lot of people have let the aftermath and the hype of that moment cloud their memory of that catch. I encourage you to go back and watch it again and just…admire it.

A lot of people, reacting to spite the media fawning to it, have nitpicked the catch, saying that oh well he had sticky gloves on or oh well other players have made similarly great one handed grabs. One, everyone wears the same sticky gloves, so shut up, comes with the job. Two, yeah, other players have made catches like that, and good for them. What still sets the OBJ catch apart for me, which nobody ever brings up, is that he made this leaping 3 finger snag catch off-balance after being held and interfered with. Not ticky-tack interference, straight up DPI. The Giants would have gotten the ball inside the five on the penalty. In fact I remember being so pumped about the obvious penalty that I had the same reaction Collinsworth did: I didn’t realize he caught it at first. I thought he got pulled and fell over. I could not fathom he caught that ball. To this day, watching the full-speed replay, I still can’t. That catch deserves the respect it got.

But I understand why people turned on him after that. Even at the time I saw the divide happen. Whenever something is insanely popular, even if it is by all metrics impressive and good, a large subset of people will react in spite of it. I don’t disagree with how tiring the hype was. The catch was a legitimate phenomenon. The Giants lost that game and somehow won it at the same time. Collinsworth himself is probably a significant cause of the backlash; to this day he still mentions OBJ whenever a player makes a one-handed grab. It’s obnoxious.

It put all the spotlight on a guy who clearly enjoyed the attention but at the time I didn’t care. Dude was a star. We had a star setting rookie records on a hall of fame track. He made several outstanding grabs as the season went on and going into 2015 he was absolutely the brightest star the Giants have seen in the past decade, even bigger than Victor Cruz was. The hype, and the irritated people who react in kind, was immense.

Year two ended up being the vindication year for the haters. After another outstanding season, the Panthers game happened. Hints of Beckham’s tendency for drama had come out the previous year against the Rams, where the Jeff Fisher team clearly targeted him and caused a massive fight to break out. Nobody was mad at Beckham for his involvement because he had clearly been fouled and targeted by an asshole Rams squad, but it offered hints of his temper that would come to everyone’s attention the following year..

The Panthers Josh Norman, who was having an all-pro year and delighted in being a pest, broke Beckham somehow. The two of them ended up in several scuffles before the ultimate moment where Beckham, after a play was over, ran and speared Norman with his helmet, causing a ruckus. It was a total bitch move and he should have been ejected, suspended, and fined immediately. Norman should have honestly been the same because he played no small part in being a huge dick himself, but Beckham bore the brunt because he committed the worst act and had the farthest to fall. People already knew Norman was a dick.

Beckham’s reputation immediately changed again. He wasn’t cool anymore. He was a talented asshole douche canoe. Any previous moment of drama or temper immediately got thrown in his face and he got the dreaded DIVA label. Fairly, I have to admit. But from that point on, his play on the field didn’t matter to the public anymore. What mattered was his drama.

His next few seasons in NY are mostly characterized by continuing to play exceptionally well, then injuries, and the fucking kicking net saga, which is still nonsense. Players throw tantrums and express frustration on the sidelines every game, Beckham simply hit the net passing by in anger and the net bounced back to hit him in the head. Yet I saw people acting like this, which was honestly just funny, just another example of what a bad person he was. The media was just always on him and he wore his emotions on his sleeve so everything was so much worse than it actually was. His teammates loved him. He turned the kicking net thing into a running gag, owning it and pissing off the haters even more, and I still love him for how he did that. Him proposing to the net was my favorite moment of the year.

The boat saga came next, which did not work in his favor. The boat thing was also nonsense, but if Beckham and the other receivers had played well in the Green Bay game, it would have gone away instead of becoming Stupid Football Lore. If you act dumb, gotta make peope forget.

His next few years were just injuries after injuries. Then Gettleman paid him and you know what? I was happy with that. He might not have been the same guy, but he was still good, still had good chemistry with Eli, and was still like the only blue chip player the Giants had. Despite the drama I liked having him and the sheer lack of talent since the trade seems even worse in retrospect. The Giants traded Beckham, broke my heart, and have been even worse since it happened.

Gettleman got roasted for the trade at the time but in hindsight it was still one of his best moves. Looking back years later, I would have still preferred to keep him and he’d be great for Jones but I can’t deny we got some worth from that trade. Peppers is a great safety. Sexy Dexy is a great defensive lineman. Oshane Ximines…exists. The Browns got…a guy who spent a lot of time injured and someone who apparently made the team worse.

I hated the “Baker is better without OBJ” narrative but at this point it’s hard to deny there’s something to it. Even this past weekend Baker looked so much better. After all the hype and celebration with Browns fans after the trade, here we sit 2 seasons later and OBJ is a free agent. They didn’t even trade him. They just dumped him. And it came right after a ton of drama, which he had mostly appeared to avoid as a Brown until this past week or so. Maybe it was always happening internally, maybe it wasn’t. We don’t know.

I actually will go against the grain and say the Browns got something out of him. OBJ had a knack for single-handedly winning games for the Giants’ struggling offense. He did that against the Cowboys for the Browns in 2020. The Browns would finish 11-5, barely making the playoffs for the first time in almost 20 years. If Beckham doesn’t win that game, the Dolphins probably steal that final playoff spot from the Browns. He may have saved the Browns season by winning that game.

OBJ has gone from a stud young star to the biggest name in football. He’s gone from the biggest name in football to a diva piece of shit star. He’s gone from a diva piece of shit star to just a has-been on an offensive focused team that is better without it’s supposed best plater. Now he has a chance to make a difference somewhere else. I’m curious if he’ll ring chase or go somewhere else he wants to be.

He won’t come back home, but if he wanted to come back to New York, I’d welcome him. On a short leash with low tolerance for his drama, but I’d be okay with it.

EDIT: Lmao he’s a Ram, of course he’s a Ram, Les Snead gives no fucks. If he plays nice this is a great spot but this could explode very badly hahaha