Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo
BREAKING: The #Browns have traded for #Giants WR Odell Beckham, sources say. The deal is done. I am not joking.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Giants are receiving this year’s No. 17 overall pick, a 2019 third-rounder and safety Jabrill Peppers.
Although Beckham’s off-field antics often generated unwanted headlines, the Giants appeared willing to look past those issues because of his on-field success.
The 26-year-old LSU product recorded 390 catches for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns across 59 games after the Giants selected him with the 12th overall pick in 2014. He tallied at least 90 receptions, 1,300 yards and 10 scores in each of his first three seasons.
Tensions between Beckham and the Giants began to rise in March 2018.
Giants co-owner John Mara caused the trade winds to start blowing when he refused to say whether Beckham would be with the team for the 2018 season, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.
“I can’t answer that one way or another,” Mara said. “We’re certainly not shopping him if that’s what you’re asking. But again, when you’re coming off a season where you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say that anybody is untouchable.”
In late March 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Beckham would “not set foot on a field without a new contract extension.”
The Giants wound up giving Beckham a five-year, $95 million contract extension in August, but they’re reportedly moving on from him less than a year later. Trying to replace one of the league’s most explosive playmakers will be an uphill battle for New York.
Beckham should immediately take over as the Browns’ top target. He’ll join a promising receiving corps that also features Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins.
No one should be happier about the trade than Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who showed signs of improvement throughout his rookie year and now has a true No. 1 wideout at his disposal.