The New York Giants brain trust endured a seemingly endless amount of criticism in the wake of trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Much ado was made of how Beckham’s personality simply didn’t fit with the Giants, despite his prodigious talent. According to head coach Pat Shurmur, the decision to deal OBJ was necessary to help build up the roster.
“We feel like we got good value in the trade,” Shurmur said in an interview with WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti. “We needed a lot. We took over a 3-13 operation, and we were able to get some other players that are going to help us. We had four games last year where we couldn’t quite get it done at the end—a couple of field goals, a couple of touchdowns. And, so, we needed to help bolster the roster. We feel like we did it.”
Beckham was dealt to the Cleveland Browns in March. In return, the Browns sent over safety Jabrill Peppers, a former 2017 first-round pick. They also received the Browns’ 2019 first-round pick (used to select Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence) and third-round pick (used to select Old Dominion defensive end Oshane Ximines).
The Giants went 5-11 in Shurmur’s first season as head coach, a two-game improvement from a disastrous ’17 campaign. Shurmur said he saw signs that the team is trending upward for 2019.
“We played a lot better at the end of the season,” Shurmur said. “…when you’re unsettled upfront on the offensive line, nothing works. And it’s hard to function on offense, it puts undue pressure on your defense. And once we got that 2018 version of our offensive line settled about midway, then we were able to play offense that looked better and able to play defense as well.”
The Giants selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. Although 38-year-old Eli Manning is entrenched as the team’s starter, Shurmur is prepared for the inevitable questions about the quarterback position.
“It’s going to be part of the conversation, it just is,” Shurmur said. “But when I look at it, what’s important to me is we have a healthy quarterback room, and Eli’s the starter. He’s had an outstanding offseason. He’s had an outstanding training camp. And then you bring in Daniel Jones, that when it’s his time to play, he’ll be ready. This guy is all about his business. He learns every day. He’s super talented. And I think he’s got a very, very bright future. And, they have respect for one another, and I see that every day.”