On Sunday, New York Giants owner John Mara spoke about the future of the team’s star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham, who is set to play on a fifth-year option worth $8.46 million for 2018, was recently shown in a viral video that may have depicted Beckham in a compromising situation.
That, among other reasons (for example, the team’s 3-13 finish a season ago) had Mara declare that no player is “untouchable” when it comes to trade talks this offseason. And with the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reporting early Monday that Beckham will not play for any team this year “without a new contract or extension,” makes it seem like a trade could be a realistic consideration for the Giants.
From @gmfb: My understanding is that #Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr will not set foot on a field without a new contract extension agreed to — with the #Giants or any team. ... This comes a day after owner John Mara said no one is “untouchable” in trade talks.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2018
Meanwhile, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News added on Monday he “has learned that the price in a prospective Beckham trade is starting at a first-round pick plus.” Thus, it didn’t take long to link the Browns—who have over $70 million in salary cap space and five selections in the first two rounds of April’s NFL Draft—to a potential Beckham trade.
It seemed to have started officially with the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, who asked on Twitter whether the Browns’ fourth-overall pick plus their No. 33 pick at the start of Round 2 would be enough to sway the Giants to move Beckham to Cleveland:
If you were CLE GM John Dorsey, would you give up 4th pick and 33rd pick for OBJ?— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 26, 2018
Then, Phil Savage noted that the Browns’ current receivers coach, Adam Henry, coached wideouts at LSU, most notably recent signing Jarvis Landry and, yes, Beckham:
Former LSU receiver coach on @Browns staff, Jarvis Landry already there.— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 26, 2018
And then Landry himself chimed in to try to recruit his former collegiate teammate to his new professional home:
It also didn’t hurt that Browns general manager John Dorsey apparently met with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman on Monday morning, with Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot writing:
Asked specifically if he’s had any talks with the Giants about swapping the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, Dorsey told cleveland.com and a small group of Browns beat writers, “Actually I had coffee with Dave this morning, but we really didn’t bring that up. Just talked. Asked how our summers were. How was your fall offseason?’’
However, league rules prevent Dorsey from talking about Beckham publicly, something he acknowledged, saying, “Unfortunately I’ll say this again. He’s with another team, so I really can’t say anything about him. I can’t do it.”
But that hasn’t prevented the speculation from rolling in. And if the Giants really are shopping Beckham, the Browns certainly seem to possess both what Gettleman’s front office wants as well as what Beckham wants. However, the Daily News column did not suggest Cleveland as one of the more likely landing spots should the receiver ultimately be traded.
Beckham has been one of the most productive receivers in the league over the last four years, totaling 313 catches for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns despite his 2017 season being cut short early with an ankle fracture suffered in October. But he’s been an off-the-field headache of sorts for the Giants; Mara also said on Sunday that he’s “sick of” hearing questions about Beckham’s behavior.
Signs all seem to point to the Giants being willing to move Beckham elsewhere for the right price. However, there is no guarantee that the Browns or any other franchise will indeed meet it. Regardless of Mara’s frustrations and Beckham’s contract demands, Beckham’s value to the Giants may prove to be higher than what they get offered for him in a trade. As Mara also pointed out on Sunday, trading Beckham is “not a scenario I would like to see happen.” So, file this one in the hypothetical column unless something actually occurs.