New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is not ready to leave the National Football League just yet.
Odighizuwa posted a series of cryptic tweets on Monday, leaving many to speculate whether or not he wanted to continue his NFL career. The speculation continued as Odighizuwa didn’t respond to requests for clarification on Twitter. Odighizuwa’s agent also did not respond to requests asking for clarification.
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Odighizuwa cleared the air on Tuesday.
Hey everyone I truly appreciate y'all thoughts and concerns.. I'm doing great and grateful to be a part of BIG BLUE 🙌🏿
— owamagbe odighizuwa (@LPJ_Odighizuwa) April 4, 2017
It still begs the question: what did Odighizuwa’s Monday tweets mean?
Perhaps he is frustrated at his development, or lack thereof.
He is entering his third NFL season, a make-or-break year by his own admission.
“It’s real important for me,” Odighizuwa said after the Giants’ playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. “That’s how I’m approaching it, that it’s kind of do-or-die in terms of my preparation and getting ready. You have to exhaust all of your resources into training properly and getting ready for the year. Really pouring everything you have into preparation.”
“I would definitely say I haven’t really played to the level I wanted to play. But I think going into this year my goal is just to create opportunities wherever they may be and make the most of them.”
The opportunities haven’t been coming to him. He played 126 snaps in his 2015 rookie season followed by 170 snaps in 2016. Odighizuwa hasn’t made the most of his playing time. He has amassed six tackles and no sacks in 18 games.
The Giants should’ve known the type of player they were bringing in. He had multiple hip surgeries and missed all of 2013, his junior year at UCLA. Odighizuwa had enough of a comeback season in 2014 for the Giants to draft him.
General manager Jerry Reese was downright giddy at the time.
“[Odighizuwa], all of his gymnastic stuff he did at the combine was really off the charts. You rarely see guys with this kind of athletic ability with respect that the gymnastic numbers show. There are a lot of things to like about him. We just think we can get a guy in the third round who’s going to be a core special teams player while he’s learning how to adjust to the game up here. He’s a big, powerful guy. An amazing body. We’re hoping to hit on this guy as a pass-rusher. He can play inside. Our coaches like that he can go inside and play. We think he’ll be a matchup problem as an inside rusher as well,” Reese said on the Giants’ website.
Odighizuwa was viewed as first-round talent that slipped to the third round. He was surpassed on last season’s depth chart by the undrafted Romeo Okwara.
Maybe the Giants should’ve taken a look at NFL.com’s assessment of Odighizuwa before the 2015 draft:
WEAKNESSES: Not skilled as a pass rusher. Won’t win around the edge often and must prove he can counter back inside. Has dealt with two surgeries on his hip and missed all of 2013 because of it. Lateral agility is limited. Range in pursuit in question. Could be mismatched if forced to cover in space. More unit fit than talented player.