OBJ & Zeke are immature, self absorbed stars the NFL needs

The obnoxious antics of one Odell Beckham Jr and Ezekiel Elliott are nothing new. These two young stars are all too familiar with drama for the wrong reasons. These recent distractions are just another chapter in both of these divas lives as NFL stars. 

Let’s start with “OBJ”. New York football Giants general manager Dave Gettleman publicly stated we didn’t resign OBJ to trade him back in January. Haha, that didn’t age well. Three months later they shipped him to Cleveland for a couple picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. 

They simply couldn’t put up with the circus he caused any longer, despite being one of the most gifted receivers in the league for some time.

In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Beckham opened up about how he felt disrespected by the Giants organization during his time there. “Like, after everything I’ve done for them,” Beckham said. “This is me being honest: This team has not been good for the last six years. Period. Even the year we went to the playoffs and everyone was talking about this and that. And we went there, and I didn’t have a great playoff game. Don’t get me wrong, I had a terrible game. But I left the game with seven targets, and I’m supposed to be your number one receiver. I left the game with seven targets. We lost. They scored 40 points. It’s just all bad. I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive.”

Yikes. This guy is so nauseating and all about ‘me, me , and more me.’ But there is a lot of truth to what he’s saying. During most of his Giants tenure, they’ve had a bottom three offensive line in the NFL. 

Couple that with the breaking down, has been Eli Manning running the show at quarterback who can’t stretch the field to save his life. It’s an understatement to say they’ve been offensively challenged. 

Until the Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley no. 2 overall a year ago, (a bad pick given the running back value and average longevity) Beckham was also the only game changing skilled position player they had during his time there. Without him, it’s only going to get worse for the G-men on that side of the ball.

However, after reading that quote, along with other statements in the article about how much he wants to break Jerry Rice’s all time receiving records, and how much he’s happily surprised by having 13 million instagram followers etc, it’s laughable when you also read he cares about winning more than anything else. His growing fame and individual stardom has always seemed to be at the forefront of this guys mind since he entered the league.

From one standout skilled position player with heavy baggage to another, running back Ezekiel Elliott is two years out from his current contract expiring. But, like many NFL stars, he wants that security of a new long-term deal right now.

Understandably, given the low value of the running back position compared to others around the football field, the Cowboys are hesitant to pay him at the moment. He also may not be worth that big bag given his myriad of off field issues in the past. “Zeke” is threatening to holdout and is reportedly leaving the U.S right before training camp is set to begin. 

Elliott is proving his overwhelming talent isn’t worth the headache he brings. When the Kansas City Chiefs cut star running back Kareem Hunt amid his domestic violence incident becoming public, everyone initially had questions about how this would alter KC’s high powered offense. 

It turns out subbing in a B/B- running back in Damien Williams as the featured back gave the Chiefs nearly the same amount of production at the position in the playoffs.

I understand Zeke is a rare running back talent that isn’t only elite as a runner. He’s one of the best pass catchers and pass blockers at his position as well. Still in all, Elliott is lowering his value by the day with the baggage he brings at the running back position.

Outside of the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys organizations, the NFL should be pleased with the drama that the likes of OBJ, Zeke, and other drama-filled skilled position guys bring. 

Why? The NFL is a league driven owners and the brands of the NFL teams. Whereas the NBA continues to be a league driven by the best players. Now, don’t get this stance twisted. The NFL will NEVER have a popularity or fan interest issue no matter what. Some people would actually lose their minds without football every Sunday in the fall and winter, me being one of them.

Having said that, unique and edgy personalities bring more attention and interest from fans and media than anything else in sports. We need the turmoil that Elliott and Beckham Jr’s of the NFL world bring. 

Every GM and fanbase in the NFL would prefer a Julio Jones type of personality headlining their skilled position player pool. The guy never gets the amount of targets his talent warrants, especially in the end zone on a yearly basis. 

Yet, he never complains or creates any distraction for his Atlanta Falcons. This is fantastic if you’re a Falcons fan, but if every special skilled position player carried themselves like Jones did, that’d be so boring and awful for the league.

Elliott and Beckham Jr’s constant tendency to act up while playing at positions that aren’t extremely high in value, make them high end players that are very expendable. OBJ just got moved via trade, and don’t be surprised if Zeke sees the same fate within the next year. Which, draws more interest to see where their behavior goes from here.

Please, keep the clown show going OBJ and Zeke. You’re giving us great content and talking points during the most dead time period of the calendar year in sports.

-Simon Brady



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