Cleveland Browns fans were understandably excited when the team completed the trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on March 13.
Outside of a brief over-reaction from Browns Twitter to Beckham briefly “going dark” on social media, optimism has remained high about adding a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four times in his five years in the league.
And as for that social media hiatus? It was short-lived as Beckham returned to social media over the weekend, including a photo with Liverpool goal-scorer extraordinaire Mo Salah (h/t to Ben Thomas):
It is not just Browns fans, however, who are viewing the move in a positive light. Late last week, ESPN asked a panel of their NFL experts what the best move of the offseason has been so far and the overwhelming response was the addition of Beckham.
There were three holdouts on the eight-person panel - Matt Bowen picked safety Earl Thomas signing with the Baltimore Ravens, Mike Sando picked defensive end Michael Bennett joining the New England Patriots, and Kevin Seifert went with the Oakland Raiders trading for wide receiver Antonio Brown - but Beckham and the Browns were a clean sweep for everyone else.
Mike Clay: Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland. The Browns acquired one of the best players in the NFL in his prime for a pair of dart throws in the draft and Jabrill Peppers, a strong safety who has yet to play an every-down role in the NFL. I’m no baseball expert, but that sounds like a home run. New York could strike gold with both picks, and it still wouldn’t justify this move from the Giants’ end (process over results, always).
Dan Graziano: OBJ to Cleveland. Beckham is the best player who changed teams in this cycle, and it would have been the best move no matter which team got him. Heck, if the Giants had decided not to trade him, that would have been a candidate for best move. It’s so easy to bog down in the negativity around these situations and forget how good some of these players -- Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Beckham -- actually are. Beckham will remind us soon enough.
Mina Kimes: OBJ to Cleveland. If Beckham performs at anywhere close to the level he has achieved so far in his career, Cleveland’s landing him for a relatively modest haul will go down as one of the biggest heists in NFL history.
Jason Reid: OBJ to Cleveland. Look, one can find merit in many of the moves made this cycle, and there are several that really jump off the page. That established, the Browns won free agency in a big, big way. Beckham is a game-changer now paired with second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, who’s on the verge of becoming a perennial all-pro for a decade or so. Every other team this cycle is looking up at the Browns.
Field Yates: OBJ to Cleveland. The Browns acquired one of the premium players in the NFL the deal with the Giants. While first-round picks are valuable, Beckham is an unquestioned star talent who is just 26 years old and under contract for five more seasons. It was a home run.
Beckham has yet to meet the media to talk about the trade, but that could be happening soon. Per NFL rules, teams that have a new head coach are permitted to start offseason workouts on April 1, and if Beckham is in attendance it is a safe bet that the team will make him available to the media.
If Browns fans are lucky, Beckham might even post about it on social media.