In an offseason that’s already seen the Oakland Raiders trade for Antonio Brown, another elite wide receiver has found a new home via trade. The New York Giants have traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, according to Mike Garafolo.
It was just seven months ago when the New York Giants gave Beckham a five-year, $90 million contract, effectively making him the face of the franchise for what we all assumed would be years to come. Eli Manning was ostensibly on his way out, and Saquan Barkley had a tremendous rookie season. With Beckham being only 26 years old, it seemingly made sense that the Giants would find a way to build their offense around the NFL’s most talented wide receiver and the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
According to an unnamed source, the Giants were willing to part ways with Beckham—despite everything he can do for them on the field—because “he had become too much of a pain in the ass. And there was a real fear that eventually it would get worse,” according to SNY.
When you look at what the Giants received in the deal—the 17th overall pick, a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers—it seems as if the Giants didn’t feel the team could find common grounds with Beckham. This isn’t the kind of haul you’d expect for a once-in-a-generation talent, especially not one who is just entering his athletic prime.
The Cleveland Browns are all of a sudden really interesting. At the very least, they’re going to have an offense that should be able to score with anyone. Second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield is going to have a myriad of weapons at his disposal. Beckham is going to join LSU teammate Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway on the receiving corp. Nick Chubb was four yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing in his rookie season and tight end David Njoku is a nice safety blanket for a young quarterback. Should Kareem Hunt find his way back into the league, the Browns will have yet another offensive weapon.
With the Steelers looking like they’ll take a step back and the Ravens in the midst of redefining themselves, the Browns have a real shot at winning the AFC North—especially if they make a few improvements on the defensive end of the field. It’s going to be a young team, but talent is everywhere. The Browns really got into a groove in the second half of last season, and Beckham could help put them over the top.