Source: Browns acquiring OBJ from Giants
The Giants have agreed to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, in a blockbuster deal that sends the star receiver out of New York less than a year after he signed a massive contract with the team.
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.
“Wow,” Beckham told ESPN’s Josina Anderson of the trade.
Beckham added to Anderson that current Browns receiver and former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry had called him and said that Cleveland general manager John Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens wanted him badly. Beckham then said Giants GM Dave Gettleman called him and said, “I am trading you to the Browns.”
Beckham, 26, signed a five-year megadeal with the Giants worth up to $98.5 million last August. It made him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at the time and seemed to cement his place on the Giants’ roster.
But after another disastrous season in which the Giants flopped at 5-11 and Beckham had several incidents that angered the team’s brass, the Giants decided to move him after paying out $21.5 million for 12 games. The deal also adds another $16 million in dead money to their running total.
The Giants weren’t shopping Beckham this offseason. But they were willing to listen to offers, and there were teams that were interested in his services. Among them were the Browns and San Francisco 49ers, according to sources.
Gettleman said at his end-of-year news conference and again at the NFL scouting combine last month: “We didn’t sign Odell to trade him. OK?”
That changed Tuesday, though.
Cleveland, meanwhile, makes another big move as it looks to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Beckham will join Landry, his good friend, as arguably the top one-two receiving tandem in the league, which no doubt will delight second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield. Each receiver recorded 288 receptions in his first three NFL seasons. Only Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints recorded more (321).
Current Browns receivers coach Adam Henry also coached Beckham and Landry at LSU, where the two starred.
News of the Beckham deal, which was first reported by NFL Network, had an immediate impact in Las Vegas. The Browns’ odds to win the Super Bowl went from 25-1 to 14-1 at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Their odds to win the AFC went from 12-1 to 7-1, behind only the Chiefs and New England Patriots (3-1).
Cleveland went 7-8-1 last season after not winning a game in 2017.
“Absolutely,” Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett told NFL Network when asked if Cleveland is now the team to beat in the AFC North. “I think the tide has turned and we can’t wait to get out there and prove it.”
Meanwhile, the Giants’ Super Bowl odds went from 40-1 to 80-1 and their NFC title odds from 20-1 to 40-1, per Westgate.
Information from ESPN’s Jordan Raanan was used in this report.