New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa came into the 2017 football year knowing he was facing a make-or-break season. Curiously enough, he has done more to break his season than to make it.
The 2015 third-round draft pick, who has only registered four tackles in 18 NFL appearances, was reportedly suspended on Monday for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. It was likely the death knell in his career as a New York Giant.
#Giants DL Owa Odighizuwa is suspended for the first four games of 2017 for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 28, 2017
Unlike Odighizuwa, there are other players vying for a roster spot who actually want to be on the field.
He hasn’t really shown that much enthusiasm for playing pro football. Perhaps there’s a good reason for it that we’ll never have the privilege of knowing, but from a distance, it’s clear that some time away from football might actually do him some good.
Early in the offseason, he hinted at retirement in several Twitter posts. Those tweets came only a few months after his interview with NJ Advance Media, where he sounded like a rejuvenated player focused on changing his NFL narrative.
“It’s real important for me,” Odighizuwa said. “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 that 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.”
Odighizuwa wasn’t able to make the most of the limited opportunities he had left.
He was already facing a mountainous climb to even earn a roster spot in 2017 with all of the weapons the Giants have on the defensive front. The suspension should seal his fate as an eventual roster cut. It wasn’t like he was wowing anyone at training camp anyway. Perhaps he’ll be lucky enough for another team to take a flier on him once the Giants do the inevitable deed. Then he will have a shot at making good on his words earlier in the year.
Until then, he’ll continue on as a third-round disappointment.