The Los Angeles Rams may have just done what John Mara, Steve Tisch, Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur all refused to do over the last 10 days. They might have shut down the frenzy over whether the Giants are on the verge of trading Odell Beckham.
Yeah, OK. Probably not.
At this point, there's likely nothing that stop this out-of-control freight train now that the Giants have allowed it to run loose by refusing to commit to having Beckham on the roster in 2018. And nothing, short of a lucrative contract extension -- or perhaps Beckham showing up for the start of the offseason program on Tuesday and vowing to change his behavior and patiently wait for a new deal -- will end the speculation or the frenzy.
But the Rams' deal for Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks on Tuesday evening sure makes it seem like Mara was telling the truth when he declared, just one week ago, that Beckham was "not on the block" and added "We're not looking to deal him, OK?" He said they'd listen to offers, because that's what teams do, but that they'd have to be "overwhelmed" to really consider it.
And if Beckham were really available for anything but an insane price, wouldn't the Rams have traded for him instead?
Of course they would have, and that's the point that has been lost in what has become a feeding frenzy on Beckham. A deal, as a source told SNY last week, has always been "highly unlikely" and just for the Giants to even seriously consider it, the offer would have to be incredibly high. The Rams got Cooks - who was taken eight spots after Beckham in the 2014 draft - plus a fourth-round pick for their first-rounder (23rd overall) and a sixth.
That's hardly overwhelming at all.
Yes, in theory, Beckham is worth more. But Cooks is still a legit No. 1 receiver, even if he is a notch or two below the first tier. He's also healthy and doesn't come with Beckham-like baggage. Beckham, coming off ankle surgery, wanting a $100 million contract extension, and with unanswered questions about what else was in his most recent video besides a bed, a woman and a pepperoni pizza, was never likely to net the Giants much more than that.
Still, it never hurt to ask for more, which they apparently did when teams called. And in the process, according to one team source, they were happy to send a much-needed message in Beckham's direction. Ownership has grown "tired", as Mara said, of having to answer questions about Beckham's controversies. And new GM Dave Gettleman, the source added, is intent on cleaning up a locker room that he's convinced hasn't exactly been "all in".
And if Beckham hasn't gotten that message yet, the fact that the Giants are playing this game with their best and most marketable player ensures that the rest of his teammates certainly have.
But actually trading him? They never actually set a price, according to one source, despite one report that they were asking for two first-round picks in return. They fielded some calls -- more than is generally known, the source said -- and had some general discussions. If the Rams or someone else wanted to get crazy and make them an offer they couldn't refuse, they probably wouldn't have refused it.
The frenzy, though, grew out of control with rumors and reports and national reporters predicting that Beckham would be dealt. Mara said this was all creating much more noise and excitement outside the Giants organization than inside it, and it certainly appears that he was right.
Unfortunately, though, despite the Rams finding their receiver elsewhere, Odell-palooza isn't going away because there still is no resolution. No one knows if he'll show up on Tuesday. There's still that NFL Network report that he won't set foot on a football field until he gets his new contract that will hover over everything until he does. And while the Giants' differences with Beckham aren't exactly irreconcilable, their frustration with him is real.
So if this does turn into a contract standoff, who knows where it will all lead?
And in the meantime … Well, the San Francisco 49ers were rumored to be interested, and there's a general feeling around the league that they want to keep pace with the Rams, who seem like they're trying to put together a juggernaut in one short month. And now the Patriots have two first-round picks (23 and 31) and it took about 20 seconds for the rumors to start that they'd be calling the Giants to see if Beckham really was available.
Maybe at some point someone will overwhelm the Giants. Maybe the Giants' patience will run out and the price for Beckham will drop. There are certainly a lot of ways this could still end -- some of them ugly -- especially in the three weeks before the start of the NFL draft.
At this point, though, only one thing seems certain: The Rams may be out of the Odell Beckham sweepstakes, but the hysteria over Beckham's future lingers on.