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Gettleman on Odell Beckham: 'You don't quit on talent'

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The Annual League Meeting has generated a soap opera with the potential to linger throughout the offseason.

Is the Giants' relationship with one of the sport's uniquely talented players beyond repair?

General manager Dave Gettleman is attempting to pull off a delicate balancing act, maintaining leverage in potential trade talks while refusing to publicly acknowledge or deny that Odell Beckham is available for the right price.

Asked by NFL Network's Kimberly Jones if Beckham can still be part of the Giants' solution, Gettleman replied, "Bottomline is, as Ernie [Accorsi] taught us, you don't quit on talent."

"He's on our team. You know?" Gettleman added. "I don't know if I'm going to drop dead of a heart attack in two seconds. You know, I hope not. Although I'm worth more alive than dead now for my wife. But no, all kidding aside, he's on the team, Kim. What do you want me to tell you?"

When Jones asked him to state unequivocally that Beckham is not available for trade, Gettleman said only, "He's on the team right now."

Gettleman doesn't relish thought of trading his best player, but that won't preclude the Giants from weighing their options.

Co-owner John Mara attempted to clarify his organization's predicament, insisting Beckham is not on the trade block even if the phone lines remain open.

"I don't know how much more clearly I can say it, I don't want him to be traded," Mara said Tuesday, via the New York Post. "I want him to be a Giant. I can't say it's a 100 percent guarantee it will happen. Can't say that about any player."

So why won't the front office put an end to the rumor and innuendo, stating without equivocation that Beckham is off the table in trade talks?

"There's no harm in having people call you," Mara offered.

Appearing on Up to the Minute Live, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Giants are indeed listening to offers for Beckham -- and there have been several such calls already this week.

Might one of those calls be emanating from Rams headquarters?

In a conversation with Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager, coach Sean McVay fanned the flames driving Beckham-to-Los Angeles fervor.

If the star-stalking Rams intend to pursue the three-time Pro Bowler, the asking price will likely include their No. 23 overall selection in the upcoming draft. That pick is available in the right trade, NFL Network's Steve Wyche confirmed. The consensus among league insiders, per Rapoport, is that a Beckham deal would require at least a first-round pick and "likely more."

Gettleman touched on the Rams speculation, as well as Rapoport's report that Beckham will not play this season without a new contract.

"In the past two days there have been two reports about Odell, OK?" Gettleman told reporters. "They've been floated that he won't take the field without and extension and the Rams are interested in trading for him. I understand the reports. People are going to print stuff, I get it.

"But I want you to understand this: Neither Odell, nor his agent, have contacted us regarding either report. So to be clear, I'm not going to respond to questions about either report, and as I stated earlier, every decision I make is going to be in the best interest of the New York football Giants."

As frustrated as the Giants may be with Beckham's judgment and maturity level, it makes no sense to throw in the towel on one of the game's most entertaining and productive players unless they plan to undergo a full-blown rebuilding effort on the heels' of a 3-13 season.

Over the past three years, a clearly declining Eli Manning has thrown 66 touchdowns versus 29 interceptions with Beckham on the field. With his best receiver out of the lineup, by contrast, that ratio plummets to 14:14 while his passing rating suffers a similar dropoff from 91.5 to 75.0.

If Gettleman plans to bypass a quarterback at No. 2 overall and follow through with a "win now" plan under 37-year-old Manning, he can't sell that vision without his mercurial difference-maker at wide receiver.

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