Pretty Good Sports

NFL Draft Rants: The Case Against OBJ & Bell

Kyle Kunert

I know, this is not technically a draft rant, but at this point of the year you hear a lot of other things swirling around. One hot topic around the NFL or two I guess is the better statement is that both Le'Veon Bell and Odell Beckham Jr deserve to get paid. I have no clue why on sports channels (cough, cough ESPN) all always side with the players and blindly want every guy to get paid a ton of money. You know what an over paid running back or wide receiver gets you? Losses, because when those two take up a majority of your salary cap how will you also be able to fit in paying a good quarterback, o-line, pass rush, or secondary. All of those positions are independently successful in the game of football. The two positions most dependent on others to succeed are receivers and running backs. Both need to have a good o-line to be successful. How often does a running back with no good blockers gain yard? How often does a quarterback getting pressured quick have time to throw to his receiver? How often do either of those positions succeed without a good quarterback? They really do not at all and that is just one reason why OBJ and Le'Veon Bell do not deserve massive contracts.

For Odell Beckham's case, he not only has cost the team games with his antics and "me" first mentality getting into fights or causing dumb penalties. He is also the very definition of empty stats. Over his past three years and a handful of games the Giants record when he has over a 100 yards is 6-12. When he gets under 100 yards the Giants record is 15-15. All of that just tells me his production does not equal wins at all and if anything him on the field just brings them up to 21-27. How in the world does that make him qualified to be the highest paid player in the league. Personally, I think having a top wide receiver hinders you by forcing you to throw it to him or else he checks out and stops caring about the game. Either that or you force the ball to him knowing how good he is making it easier for opposing defenses to defend you. Just look at how sporadic the Falcons were last season. My opinion is that Matt Ryan targeted Julio Jones way too much making it really easy to defend and more often than not they could only hook up on fifty percent passes. Same goes for the Lions who have seen more success with Calvin Johnson gone than they did with him on the field. It's like a big weight is lifted off your quarterbacks shoulders that allows him to just throw it to whoever is open instead of just one guy.

Meanwhile, Odell Beckham's mentality is almost like he is the only player on the field and none of that really helps the team at all. I do not care how fiery and passionate he is or that's the only way he knows how to play good. That just shows me he has no self-control and is just a ticking time bomb ready to go off any time a corner like Josh Norman can get into his head. Often he has shown the ability to even check out of games when the tough gets going. Then there is his want of being a high profile superstar that causes undo attention to come his way and puts him in compromising situations. The fact that he was doing what ever he was doing in a hotel in Paris does not shock me in the slightest. What is more shocking is that he let a video of him get out or someone to film him at all doing it. That shows little awareness and maturity. If you want to get paid like a quarterback you need to act like one and Beckham has done himself no favors.

Then there is this list of players Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, Tony Gonzalez, Tim Brown, Steve Smith, Andre Johnson, Cris Carter, James Lofton, and Andre Reed who are just some of the top names on list of reception yards leaders in NFL history. You know what they all have in common? None of them have Super Bowl rings and in the case of a few never even sniffed one. Much like how in a previous rant that having a top running back does not equal wins. Well, so goes the same for top receivers. What you really need is a quarterback, o-line, and a pass rush.

For the case of Le'Veon Bell, he lost all leverage over his contract when he got hurt missing a total of 12 games throughout his career. Not only that, but he then got suspended for a total of three games over a failed drug test. If he gets another than he misses 6 games. So when the NFL's mentality towards running backs has gotten the lowest it has ever been a back with an injury history and a suspension believes he deserves to be paid top dollar. That is just laughable in my opinion and he acts like none of that has ever happened. No doubt he is a really good player, but I think the Steelers are more built off of Big Ben and everything else is just an extension off of his success.

Something else, that really bothers me about Bell and I find it funny that a team labeled as "old school" and has been known to cut knuckleheads quickly has been stringing him along is that he gives little regard to his teammates. Him sitting out the training camp choosing to let his teammates bust their humps for the season and just assume everything will be alright when he strolls up a week before the season starts is just disrespectful in my opinion. Not only that, but he was obviously not ready to start the year and it took him oh about three weeks before he was ready. You know where else he could have gotten those three weeks? In training camp where he does not hinder games that actually matter.

I already laid out my opinion on backs previously with how replaceable they are and how often top backs actually win a Super Bowl. However, just to reiterate only 3 backs in the past 10 years have won the Super Bowl after posting over 1,000 yards rushing. Like receivers what really matters in the big dance is a good defense and a good o-line to protect a competent quarterback.

If I were either the Steelers or the Giants I would just let them both keep complaining for a new contract. In the case, of the Steelers they have already stacked up a ton of carries to wear down Bell long term so I hope they know giving him a long term deal is just a terrible idea. Plus, I think he is the type of guy to stop playing hard once that happens. Same can be said about Beckham there actually and I can see him turning it down once he gets a long term deal. Both are going to cost more than they are actually worth and neither have displayed enough maturity to be relied upon. Neither of them really respect their teammates or coaches talking about themselves and what they need to do. Football is about all 51 other players and 10 other starters next to you on the field. I think both teams would be better off without them and let some other team foolishly try to work with them.