Giants can win while building

The New York Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, and the decision was derided to a nearly universal extent.

A few days later, and the Giants have a new wide receiver on the roster in Golden Tate, who is unsurprisingly optimistic about his new team’s outlook. He said so during an introductory media conference Friday, via the Giants’ website:

After speaking with (Pat) Coach Shurmur and my position coach (Tyke Tolbert), I’m really excited where we’re headed. I really believe that you can win games while you build. We have a great division that’s set up for us to do some great things in. Just really kind of excited to play. I see we have some very important, key, good pieces in this locker room that I’m anxious to learn more about. It starts off we have a really good quarterback I believe. We have a really good running back. We have a handful of really, really good players.

Tate also said he doesn’t think the team is “as far off as people may think.”

Not many optimistic outside of Giants organization

While adding Tate is better than adding nothing to the receiver corps following Beckham’s departure, it’s hard to imagine the Giants’ offense taking anything other than a massive step back next season barring another major move.

Even with Beckham playing 12 games last year and Saquon Barkley playing 16 games as one of the best running backs in the league, the Giants still ranked only 16th in the league in points per game while going a division-worst 5-11.

Tate is certainly a quality receiver, but nobody is going to mistake his play for Beckham. Rather, he’s a lot more like a receiver the Giants already have on the roster in Sterling Shepard, another undersized receiver that works mostly out of the slot.

Golden Tate is in the unenviable position of being seen as Odell Beckham’s Giants replacement. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Regardless of whoever is catching passes, the larger limiting factor is 38-year-old Eli Manning will still be the one throwing them. This might be the year the Giants finally go for a top quarterback in the draft, in which they have the sixth and 17th overall picks, but trading away the team’s No. 1 receiver does no favors for Manning or his possible replacement.

Tate’s “win games while you build “echoes what general manager Dave Gettleman said after the Beckham trade:

“You can win while you build a roster,” Gettleman said. “We do have a plan, and this is a part of it.”

Adding Tate is seemingly part of Gettleman’s master plan, which apparently involves signing Beckham to an extension then trading him less than a year later, replacing the superstar receiver with merely a good, and older, receiver, and hoping the extra picks work out. It might be a while before we really see how that turns out.

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