The New York Giants made Odell Beckham Jr. the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history in August, a reward not only for the spectacular start to his NFL career but being there on Day 1 of new coach Pat Shurmur's program installation despite some then-contract uncertainty.
New five-year extension or not, Beckham clearly is dissatisfied with the state of the 1-3 New York Giants' offense under Shurmur, which ranks 26th in passing yards per play and tied for 29th in scoring.
"How come we can't throw the ball more than 20 yards?" Beckham asked in an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson airing Sunday, a snippet of which the New York Daily News received. "How come we don't attempt to throw the ball for more than 20 yards? Those are questions that we have to figure out."
Beckham isn't wrong. Watching Eli Manning flounder in Shurmur's offense has been excruciating, especially after Shurmur's Vikings were in the top 10 in passing and scoring a season ago with Case Keenum at quarterback and fewer weapons at his disposal. It's easy to point to the Giants' still-broken offensive line, but that wasn't exactly the early '90s Cowboys that Keenum was working behind last season, either.
Perhaps the even more scathing comment from OBJ to ESPN came in response to a question about the Giants' biggest current issue from his vantage point.
"I would say it's our heart, it's our energy, it's what we bring when we line up before the game."
Beckham offers pointed criticism of his new coach's play calling and Shurmur's ability (or lack thereof) to prepare his team.
Beckham was paid not only because he's a transcendent WR talent but the Giants sensed that the mercurial 25-year-old was showing signs of maturing this offseason. Is airing the Giants' laundry publicly only four games into the new regime the kind of growth and leadership Dave Gettleman and John Mara had in mind when they made the deal with Beckham?
Again, we understand why Beckham's frustrated, even if we disagree with his method of voicing those concerns. He's managing only 10.7 yards per catch and hasn't found the end zone through four weeks, easily the longest TD drought of his career. And it's not like that's the result of other players succeeding — the whole operation appears broken.
But now a team with no shortage of problems has a new one it clearly wasn't expecting after it committed $65 million this summer to helping ensure the offense would be explosive and its most explosive member would be steadier off the field.