The New York Giants couldn’t have been too happy that receiver Odell Beckham wasn’t with the team at “voluntary” OTAs at the start of this week. It couldn’t have made them feel much better to know Beckham was working out with Johnny Manziel instead.
TMZ, which has blanketed the Manziel beat since he partied his way out of the NFL, reported that Beckham and Manziel did some passing drills this week (and hung out with Beckham’s “custom cleat artist” Kickasso). Manziel is attempting a comeback after his well-documented issues off the field led to the end of his Cleveland Browns career. Manziel was out of football last season.
Beckham’s absence from the Giants’ OTAs this week has made some news. The workouts are officially voluntary, but almost every NFL player shows up for them and it’s not a great look for a player of Beckham’s stature to skip out. Instead of being with the Giants, Beckham was hanging with Johnny Football and Kickasso. A photo of the two players together was posted to Kickasso’s Instagram profile, and the picture was passed around on social media before the original post was deleted.
— HollywoodNews (@HollywoodN247) May 24, 2017
Manziel and Beckham have been seen together a few times this offseason, and Manziel sometimes works with Beckham’s trainer Jamal Liggin, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN said. The workouts together probably shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but a Giants boat trip on a Monday after the regular season ended shouldn’t have been a big deal either.
Everything is more scrutinized when it comes to Beckham, and that definitely holds true for Manziel too. The image of them working together while Beckham is away from his NFL team during offseason work is going to get plenty of attention.
Beckham, who the New York Post said is expected by the team to be at Thursday’s OTA session, has a tendency to create firestorms. Whether it’s for fights with Josh Norman, freaking out on a kicking net, the now infamous pre-playoff boat trip or now working out with Manziel, it’s always something. Each of those things get blown out of proportion because of the market in which he plays, but the Giants would probably prefer if their most talented player could have a nice quiet offseason.
That might never be the case with Beckham. Already this week he got headlines for not being with the Giants for OTAs. Then he signed a five-year, $29 million deal with Nike according to nicekicks.com, which is the most lucrative shoe deal ever for a football player. Then Beckham working out with Manziel was another story. And it’s only Wednesday.
The Giants know it’s all part of the package with Beckham. He’s going to be one of the best players in football, and he’s going to be a lightning rod for criticism as well. On the field or off it, there’s rarely a dull moment for the Giants’ superstar.
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