If the Patriots are being linked to Odell Beckham Jr, it must be the middle of February.
Seriously, if I was just coming to out of a months-long coma in a hospital room without a window, I could tell exactly what time of year it is just from this video. It’s a hard-and-fast rule of life in the 21st century that we can’t transition from the end of one football season to the offseason of the next without at least one All Pro wide receiver rumored to be in trade talks and on his way to New England. It happens this time every year. You put on one of the regional sports networks and it’s B-roll footage of pitchers practicing covering 1st base on a grounder followed by “Could the Patriots be getting [insert name of great wideout]???” The Larry Fitzgerald rumors went on every year for a decade. Calvin Johnson was supposedly coming here even a year after he retired.
And yet in all this time, they’ve been landing superstars like … whom, exactly? Phillip Dorsett. Chris Hogan. Malcolm Mitchell. Danny Amendola. And getting to AFC championship games every year and winning multiple Super Bowls with them. But it never stops the fantasies that some elite, freakishly athletic burner is going to be brought in to pair up with Tom Brady and [spins the Wheel of Cliches] stretch the field or take the top off the defense and give Brady a weapon. And every time I call shenanigans and every time I’m correct. But here we are back again having the same conversation about some other wideout.
I’m not saying this is wrong because Chris Simms is always full of shit. Though Chris Simms is always full of shit. To steal the phrase that Bill Belichick used about Charley Casserly, he’s wrong more than the weatherman. I’m saying he’s wrong on this one for the simple fact that everything about OBJ’s existence goes exactly against how they’ve built this Dynasty.
I’ll pause here to give all the nitwits naive enough to buy into these rumors every year to say “Well what about Randy Moss?” Exactly. Thanks for mentioning him. Moss took a massive pay cut to shoot his way out of Oakland and into Foxboro. From $9.75 million to $3 million, with only a fraction of it guaranteed. Then after having arguably the most productive season any receiver ever had, he got a new contract. For $15 million guaranteed over three years. And was still traded for some pizza coupons before playing out the end of that deal. Moss’ contract averaged out about 5.6 percent of the Patriots salary cap during that time. Meanwhile, here’s the deal Beckham signed with the Giants last offseason:
That’s about 9 percent. Almost double of what they were willing to pay Moss after he had 23 touchdowns, plus a go-ahead score in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl That Shall Not Be Named I. They just won a Super Bowl with their highest cap hits at the position being:
Julian Edelman, $4.07 million
Chris Hogan, $3.5 million
Cordarelle Patterson, $3.25 million
Dorsett, $1.4 million
And had the 4th highest scoring offense in the league. Not to mention that they’ve got the greatest tight end every to play the position and signed him to two straight incentive-laden extensions, which ended up paying him between $10.1 million and $9 million. But sure, let’s fundamentally change the way they’ve always done everything so it’ll work out better. By bringing in a guy who not only makes significantly more than all those established winners, but is scheduled to get paid just under what Brady made last year.
And not just any guy, but a notoriously unstable nutjob who counts his touches, punches walls, proposes to kicking nets, bitches about play calling and has a career postseason total of 4 receptions on 11 targets for 28 yards. As fucking if.
Maybe it’ll turn out Chris Simms is right. Even a blind squirrel can trip over an acorn. But if he is, and OBJ ends up in New England this year then everything I know about the Patriots Dynasty, how it was built and how it operates, is wrong. And I will admit that by getting an Odell Beckham Jr. Patriots tattoo. And I will not be getting an OBJ Patriots tattoo, I promise you.
No matter how bad Beckham would love to make it happen.