Maybe there were behind the scenes discussions between Odell Beckham and the New York Giants.
If Beckham publicly pronounced his desire to be traded, the market may have shriveled up for the New York Giants. Instead, as free agency began in earnest around the NFL, the Cleveland Browns agreed to a package to bring star receiver Odell Beckham to the shores of Lake Erie.
Former Giants beat writer Mike Garafolo broke the story for the NFL Network, and Adam Schefter of ESPN outlined the parameters of the trade.
"“The Giants will receive the Browns’ first-round pick in 2019 (No. 17 overall), their second third-round pick this year (95th overall) and safety Jabrill Peppers for Beckham, the source said.”"
The trade sent shock waves through the NFL and social media, even though there were many signs something was going on. In fact, we reported that Jay Glazer indicated in The Athletic that Beckham would be traded this offseason.
Surprising, yes. Shocking, no.
As far as the trade itself, the Browns are getting a known commodity, an elite game breaking talent. We saw signs of OBJ’s increasing maturity last season, and there was never a question about his desire to win.
From that standpoint, Cleveland gets the early nod on the trade-o-meter.
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For the New York Giants, they get an NFL starter under a rookie contract in Jabrill Peppers. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s the 19th ranked safety in the league, garnering a 77.6 grade last season. He can also help in the return game, as Peppers has handled kick and punt returns in his two seasons in the NFL.
Peppers was selected 25th in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he was a value pick by the Cleveland Browns. At one point, he was viewed as a potential top 10 selection, but a diluted sample on his drug test raised questions.
The TBD part of this trade are the draft picks. At No. 17, the New York Giants are going to have to hit a home run to make this trade palatable to the fan base. There’s no way that general manager Dave Gettleman can whiff and get away with it. Too many eyes are on this transaction.
Personally, I’m getting a gut feeling about Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones isn’t worthy of the No. 6 overall pick, but further down in the first-round seems about right for the former Blue Devil.
As for the third-round selection, please don’t give us Jay Bromley, Owa Odighizuwa or Damontre Moore. A simple plug-in and play starter, perhaps a wide receiver, works here.
If the Giants can get two solid starters, with Peppers and the third-round pick, as well as their franchise quarterback, then the process will have worked. That’s an awful lot to ask, but it could happen.
some final thoughts on the trade. First, it’s vindication for those of us who believed that something was in the works, and moving forward, we have to take the words of the general manager with a large grain of salt. The haters hated on social media, but the fact remains that Beckham got traded.
Secondly, those of us who questioned the wisdom of the “competitive rebuild”, we see now that the direction of the franchise has completely changed. We are no longer looking at competing for a playoff spot in 2019, and monies were clearly wasted on guys like Jonathan Stewart, Patrick Omameh, and yes, Kareem Martin last season. This has the making of a complete team tear down.
The hot take on this trade remains simple: elite talent, under contract, is usually not available for trade. These players only become available under unique circumstances. Think Wayne Gretzky to the L.A. Kings or A-Rod to the Yankees.
Finally, this one will take some time to digest, at least until the NFL Draft, but more likely for several years (the term of Beckham’s contract?). Tomorrow, folks will be opining about winners and losers, but that discussion is premature. The only thing we know for certain is that the Browns took a big step forward, and the Giants took a huge gamble.