Odell Beckham Jr. has consistently been ranked as a top-10 receiver in the NFL since coming into the league in 2014, but there has always been some controversy surrounding the big-time receiver, which lead to a lot of rumors about him potentially being traded this offseason and now those rumors have come to fruition as Beckham is being traded to the Browns, as first reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the compensation going back to New York will be this years first-round pick, a third-round pick in this years draft and safety Jabrill Peppers.
Before last season, Beckham and the Giants came to an agreement on a five-year, $90 million contract, with $65 million of it guaranteed. Coming into this offseason, Jarvis Landry was the only player on the Cleveland roster set to have a cap hit of over $10 million, so the Browns had plenty of cap space to try and upgrade their team, and even after absorbing the $15.5 million cap hit of Olivier Vernon, this deal won’t even push them close to the cap limit.
Cleveland will also have a potential out after two more seasons, so if for whatever reason this relationship doesn’t work, it’s not too much of a long-term commitment.
This move will also leave the Giants with $16 million in dead cap that they will be responsible for.
This is a huge deal for Cleveland. After finishing the season strong last year it was clear that Baker Mayfield was the guy going forward in Cleveland and the Browns already had some good weapons around him in Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry and now they are adding one of the elite pass catchers in the league. To add to that, Jarvis Landry is a lot more of a possession receiver, and now they will have a guy that is one of the best at taking the top off of a defense and creating explosion plays, which is a critical thing to have in the NFL.
Assuming that Beckham comes in and isn’t a distraction, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t work. There will undoubtedly be a lot of attention on how he will make the transition to Cleveland, but over time, being in a smaller market like Cleveland compared to the New York market might also pay dividends in terms of him being able to focus more on football and less on outside distractions.
For the Giants, it’s unclear exactly what this will mean. Yes, they are getting rid of the best player on their team, but they seemed to be frustrated with him at times and they were already a team that should be entering a rebuild, so taking on $16 million in dead cap to shed the Beckham contract shouldn’t be too big of a deal.
The most important part for the Giants is getting an extra first-round pick. they now have the sixth and the 17th picks in the upcoming draft so they have given themselves more options. They desperately need a quarterback so it wouldn’t be far-fetched for them to take a quarterback with one of those picks or to even package the picks and try and move into the top-five. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle this situation, but the bottomline is that they’ve given themselves options and that’s always a good thing.
As for the third-round pick they’re getting, that’s not a bad thing either, but it’s less of a big deal than a first-round pick. Giving yourself as many picks as possible to try and find good players is most certainly a good thing though.
The acquisition of Jabrill Peppers in this deal is also nice. He had a pretty good season last year and he’s on a cheap deal. So with Landon Collins having just left for Washington, he will be someone who can step right in.
Make no mistake about it though, this deal is about the Browns pushing all of their chips into the middle of the table and feeling like they are in a window where they can make a run at a Super Bowl with Baker Mayfield still on his rookie deal. Yes, they did give up a good amount, a lot more than the Raiders gave up for Antonio Brown, but Odell Beckham is one of the elite players at his position in the league, and for that you have to pay the freight.
Cleveland is entering a position to possibly be the favorites the the AFC North this upcoming season, and even if they don’t end up winning the division or even making the playoffs, they should be fun to watch.
Also, Freddie Kitchens has no excuses in his first full season as the head coach of the Browns, but I’m sure he would rather be coaching a team that is going all-in to win, which is clearly what Cleveland is doing.
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